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December 16: Scott Gore, ND Rodeo Star

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North Dakota rodeo and Wild West Show performer Scott Gore was born on this date in 1880 in Deadwood, South Dakota. His family moved to North Dakota in the 1890s where his parents worked for the Pierre Wibaux W Bar Ranch.

Scott worked for the W Bar, too, and in the late 1890s, established his own cattle and horse ranch in southwestern McKenzie County about 20 miles west of Grassy Butte. He raised huge herds of horses and his OTO brand was known throughout the country.

Scott became a nationally-known rodeo champion and rancher. He was a North Dakota saddle bronc champion and performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Europe. He was claimed by many to be the champion rider of the world. When Scott was riding in a local rodeo, many took off from farm work just to watch. Considered a “real cowboy’s cowboy,” Scott owned cattle, horses and land, and made his living on horseback for more than 65 years.

Elmer Clark, a 2001 North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee, once said Scott could ride all the top saddle broncs in North Dakota and also Tipperary, a well-known South Dakota horse. One story says that Tipperary’s owners once advertised $100 to anyone who could ride him. Scott rode him, but the owners said the horse was sick so they didn’t pay the $100.

Scott once rode Bad Land Charley, a bucking bronco that defeated many riders over the years. Some of the best riders in the west were bucked off, but Scott managed to stay on.

He was not only an outstanding rodeo rider, but also a top cowboy and horse trainer. He was inducted into the Range Riders Museum Memorial Hall in Miles City, Montana, and into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Scott still owned his ranch and stock when he died in Dickinson on March 2nd, 1955. He’s buried in the Poker Jim Cemetery, about five miles north of the ranch.

By Cathy A. Langemo, WritePlus Inc.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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