story by Laura Martin When Jim Persinger discovered the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association in 2012, feeling like he could still compete at the age […]
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Meet the Member Donna Shedeed
story by Siri Stevens
NSPRA gold card member Donna Shedeed grew up on a farm west of Gordon, Nebraska. “I always wanted a horse, and my folks let me ride a slow work horse. There wasn’t barrel racing way back then, and I started barrel racing in little roping club when I was 15.” She met her husband, Bob, in 1965 and they married a year later. They settled in Rushville where they raised their four kids: one daughter, Denell, and four sons, Stacy, Troy, Cory, and David Dunn. They now have 15 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
The couple bought a Coast to Coast store and converted it to a True Value store, spending the next 30 years in the hardware business. They bought 115 acres just outside of town and built an indoor barn and outdoor arena, in which they hosted numerous rodeos and jackpots, including two NSPRA rodeos in 1985 and 1986. They also owned a 320 acre farm. In 1983, Bob and Donna purchased a building and started a church, The Christian Community Center. This led them into organizing cowboy church services for the NSPRA rodeos for 17 years. “God told us to start the church,” said Donna. “It’s still going strong.”
Donna and Bob joined the NSPRA in 1978, spending the next 40 years traveling to the rodeos, serving on the Board, and winning numerous All Around and event championships. She credits NSPRA with giving her and Bob numerous friends and places to travel to that they would not have seen without the NSPRA. They were inducted into the NSPRA Hall of Fame in 2010. She is a Gold Card member, and the couple still ropes in the Association. “That’s our family,” she said. “I’m the Queen of Tie On Roping.” She has oodles of little notes in her medicine cabinet, including “You’re not spinning the loop.” “Build a bigger loop, look at the heels, the hock, the horse.”
Donna hit the big 80 in October. “I wouldn’t let Bob have a party for me – I’m just going to keep going. He came home with a cake and three half gallons of ice cream,” she said. The couple has been married for 50 years and she attributes the success of their marriage to Bob never letting her sit down. “I haven’t sat down since we got married,” she said. “It’s a keep going thing.”
Bob and Donna moved to Hermosa, South Dakota, in 2000, where they spend their summers, and spend winters in Arizona. “Ty Yost has a roping every day – and now there are arenas that have ropings all day and night,” she said. “Team ropers never die, they move to Wickenburg. All our friends are down here.” She took a quick trip back to South Dakota early this month. Donna was recognized at the 27th Annual Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner as the Rodeo Cowgirl Great. Donna is an excellent horse trainer and won numerous buckles and saddles over the last 40 years or more. She has competed in team roping, break-a-way and barrel racing.
She plans to get more winnings in the All Girl Ropings in Arizona. “I’m working on another horse right now – you’ve got to keep going. The Bible says: “Let the weak say I am strong.” And that’s what I say: I am strong. It’s all about attitude.”