Meet the Member Emily Finney
story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
story by Lindsay King
The dynasty of the Hollenbeck name in rodeo has been fifty years in the making. Hollenbeck Rodeo Company out of Winner, South Dakota, celebrates their 50th anniversary of operation in 2018. It began in 1968 as H&S Rodeo Company by Vincent Hollenbeck, his son Squeek and close family friend Roy Sell. The produced about 20 rodeos throughout the summer months. In 1990, Vince and Roy retired allowing Squeek and his wife Maureen to take over the company, spurring the name change. “Back when it was H&S, Vincent, Squeek and Roy just bought their stock: horses, bulls, steers and calves. The horses came from sale barns and friends who had spoiled saddle horses that wanted to buck,” Maureen said.
Some of their first bulls started out as roping calves. The best cross they ever had was a Hereford cow with a brahma bull. It did not take the Hollenbeck’s long to get into the “Born to Buck” breeding program and champions started hitting the ground. “We have sold several horses to Joe Simon of Dakota Rodeo and he has taken them into the PRCA. Two of those horses have gone to the NFR the last couple of years.” One bronc straight off the Hollenbeck ranch is Bar Tender. “Cody DeMoss won the American on him this year, they also won Sheridan on him too. He is an outstanding horse, cowboys have won just about every rodeo on him that he has been to lately.” War Rock is another Hollenbeck original making a splash in the PRCA.
Several of the horses Squeek and Maureen are hauling now are replicates of the genetics War Rock and Bar Tender carry. “Those horses have won bareback and saddle bronc horse of the year in the M-SRA. Tokyo was Bareback Horse of the Year in the SDRA just last year and our ranch-raised bull, Stocking Stuffer, was the M-SRA Bull of the Year in 2016 and again in 2017.” These winning genetics are all made possible by the hands of five generations of Hollenbeck rodeo enthusiasts.
In the early years, Squeeks brother Lonnie was the flanker. Vince was the chute boss while Squeek and Roy were the pickup men and it has since moved through nephews Brad Hollenbeck and Randy Steinke, then to Scott and cousin Craig Hollenbeck. Now the angels of the arena are Cody Hollenbeck and Kris Schenefeld. “It has always been a family affair and still is today. It extends beyond our immediate family though. There are nieces, nephews, cousins, all kinds who help us keep the company running.”
On July 13, the Hollenbecks celebrated 50 years, not only of their company but also the rodeo that has been there since the very beginning. “The Tripp County 4-H Rodeo is the longest running 4-H rodeo in the state of South Dakota. They started when we did and we have been with them ever since, so we celebrated together.” This was easily a highlight for Maureen and Squeek, but they also produced their favorite rodeo in Clearwater, Nebraska, for the 40th year. “Everything is special about Clearwater, they have an outstanding committee and their hospitality is like no other. They bring a huge crowd and have been named rodeo of the year multiple times.”
The Hollenbeck’s are on the rodeo committee for their hometown rodeo in Winner, but would definitely agree going out of town to produce a rodeo is much easier. “We love all of the rodeos we do though, or else we would not still be producing rodeos.” Multiple awards for stock contractor of the year and pickup men of the year have been bestowed upon the Hollenbeck clan by the M-SRA. However, they also produce rodeos for the SDRA, NSRA, NRCA, the Minnesota Rodeo Association as well as high school and 4-H rodeo.
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