Fort Pierre, South Dakota: Rodeo Champion Weather Vane

Captured in mid-buck, hometown hero Casey Tibbs -- the "Babe Ruth of Rodeo" -- and his mount Necktie swivel with the prairie wind. Unveiled in 1992; repaired and restored in 2017. Tibbs' shirt and jeans are real, coated in fiberglass.
US Hwy 83, Fort Pierre, SD
In town, on the west side of US 83/1st St., between 3rd and 4th Aves, just south of the Fort Pierre Depot.
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Rodeo champion weather vane.

Rodeo Champion Weather Vane

Stopped here on our way to the South Dakota capitol. We checked -- it still swivels, just like a real rodeo champion. Also look for a small buffalo just south along U.S. 83.

[SteveC, 08/31/2009]

Wind rotated statue.

Rodeo Champion Rides with the Wind

In Fort Pierre, there is a monument to Champion Rodeo Rider, Casey Tibbs, 1929-1990. It is a life-sized, fiberglass sculpture of a cowboy on a bucking horse.

I got out of my car to snap a picture of this and wondered why they would position it so that it was facing away from the road. As soon as I snapped my picture and got back in my car, I saw it move. It is designed to swivel in the wind like a wind vane. It would be fun to watch with some serious, gale-force winds.

[Nathan Forrider, 10/13/2002]

The statue used to stand outside of a shopping center -- where its swivel had broken -- but it has been restored and moved to a small park. It recreates a photo of Tibbs' most famous rodeo ride, aboard the bronc Necktie. Real horse hair was reportedly used in Necktie's mane and tail. Tibbs died watching the Super Bowl on TV.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Really Small SchoolhouseReally Small Schoolhouse, Pierre, SD - 1 mi.
Saluting SoldiersSaluting Soldiers, Pierre, SD - 2 mi.
Trail of GovernorsTrail of Governors, Pierre, SD - 2 mi.
In the region:
Golden Lady: a Mom-ument, Pierre, SD - 2 mi.

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