Clem McSpadden called him the best match roper of his time. Henry Hainzinger may have never won a world championship, but he was well respected […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Scott Hall was raised outside of Herald, SD, on a ranch. “We lived on a ranch and put up hay and farmed with horses,” said the 81-year-old who calls Elizabeth, Colo., home. “I did a lot of farming with a team of horses.” His dad had a herd of about 150 horses and Scott remembers riding on the back of the young colts while his dad led him around. “Then he’d turn me loose in the pasture and the wreck was on,” he recalled. He started rodeoing when he was 16 because his neighbor did. “We went to small rodeos, or we’d run in somebody’s cows and ride them. We always thought we were riders. It was something to do on Sunday.” He had four sisters and four brothers and only his older brother joined him a couple of times riding bareback horses.
He started traveling to rodeos when he was about 17. “My brother in law, Harold Alleman, would pick me up and take me to rodeos in Minnesota and around the area. I had a Turtle saddle, and I was part of the RCA. Before that I would go to some amateur rodeos around.” Scott never made it to the Finals. “I never tried – I was working.” Scott made it to the 11th grade and didn’t like it. “I wasn’t a school guy, so I left school and I ran away. My dad was out farming for a guy $10 a day, and me and two other guys decided we were going to rodeo. I had $100. We got a bus ticket and went to Casper, Wyo.” By the time they got to Casper, they were broke and Scott ended up staying with his aunt and uncle, working on his irrigated farm, putting up hay. He broke a wild horse for his uncle’s friend and entered a couple rodeos in the bareback riding. “I didn’t know anything about spurring one out, but I got one rode.” His folks came out and made him go back to school, but he never finished that time either. He was drafted into the Army and got his degree in Korea. “I took one of those tests and got my diploma.” He served in Korea from 1952 – 1954 as a crane operator after training in heavy equipment. “I was a good crane operator. I put bridges in, and then tore them out. I did my job and got out of there ok.”
In 1958, Scott went to Belgium to put on a rodeo, that’s when The World Fair was there. “The horses went by ship and the rest of us flew. There must have been about 30 of us altogether. It was a good deal. Gene Autry and Casey got this all together. We put up the biggest tent that Goodyear ever built –we put it up with an air compressor. Something happened to the tent, and we ended up putting on the rodeo in the rain. It rained and rained and rained – we’d rodeo in six inches of rain sometimes. It didn’t work out that great – we went broke. The government paid our way back.”
Scott got married in 1959 to Joyce Galinat and he and Joyce had five children. At times he would take the family on the rodeo road, but mostly he went by himself. He put up hay, raised hogs, and ran a few cows between rodeos. “My wife died when she was 44 of a heart attack in 1983. I went back to South Dakota for nine years.” The two youngest were still in high school and Scott finished raising them by himself. He leased a ranch in Wood, South Dakota.
In 1991, he became reacquainted with a lady he had known in 1958. “I was crazy about him, but he was too busy rodeoing at the time,” said Mary (Lovoi) Hall. They were married Oct. 18, 1991. “He called me in March, and I went up to South Dakota in April. It was a very painful thing going back and forth, and we just decided to get married and he moved back here.”
Scott does the same thing he did in South Dakota. He has about twelve head of horses and rides and has a handful of calves and a bull. “I’ve still got ice to break and hay to move,” he said. He’s busy all the time – there’s a lot of chores to do. “I’ve done about everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m going to try to cut my horses down to about two and get rid of some of the chores and take it easy.”