courtesy of SWTJC Rodeo Alumni As Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, Texas celebrates their 60th Anniversary as a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) team, […]
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South Dakota Cowboys Win Big in 1988 Cory Ferguson
Story by Don Reichert
Three of the 1988 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association champions were from South Dakota. The steer wrestling was won by Cory Ferguson, Enning, South Dakota. Western Dakota Tech Saddle Bronc Riding winner Eudell Larson, New Underwood, South Dakota was spotlighted previously. Bareback Riding and All-Around Champion, Ken Lensegrav from Meadow, South Dakota, riding for Montana State University, will be in a future NlRA Alumni story.
Ferguson’s rodeo career began at the Enning, South Dakota Roping Club started by his dad and grandfather on their ranch. His first steer wrestling competition at age 14 was at Rodeo Bible Camp near Kadoka, South Dakota which had a big influence on him. His older brother, steer wrestler Faron, and hazer, uncle Milton Trask, helped him develop as a steer wrestler. He also gives credit to 1980 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association All Around Cowboy Paul Tierney and 1983 Bill Linderman Award winner Marty “Chip” Melvin.
Ferguson competed in tie down roping, team roping, and steer wrestling at three College National Finals Rodeos. The 1988 NIRA steer wrestling winner competed for National College of Business now National American University, Rapid City, South Dakota where he majored in Paralegal and Business Administration.
After college, he worked full time as an event director for several businesses including the Professional Bull Riders as Director of Loyalty Marketing. He got his PRCA permit, filled it and pro rodeoed in the Badlands Circuit, Great Lakes Circuit, Prairie Circuit and First Frontier Circuit. In 2007, he led the steer wrestling in the PRCA First Frontier Circuit for three fourths of the season until he suffered a severe injury and could not compete until the finals rodeo. He still ended the season in third place for the year.
Cory and his wife, Julie, live just south of Rapid City, South Dakota where he is Sponsorship and Vendor Manager for the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo and the Central States Fair and Rodeo. He has always had a deep caring for animals and is a board member of the Black Hills Humane Society. Cory and Julie are on national disaster response teams for animals following floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. After living for 25 years out of the western SD area, he is back home where he plans on getting back into team roping.
He is honored to be recognized with the NIRA Champions of the “8’s” and will be at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni Reunion on June 15 and 16, 2018 during the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.
Reunion information: http://www.collegerodeo.com/resources/alumni/