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Bestowed With Bronze

Black Hills Roundup winners will receive a special piece of cowboy art created by TR Chytka.

One of the bronzes made by TR Chytka as trophies for this year’s Black Hills Roundup rodeo champions. The Belle Fourche, S.D. native has sculpted artwork for rodeo and western events across the nation.

Belle Fourche, S.D. (May 23, 2022) – The cowboy and cowgirl winners of this year’s Black Hills Roundup will take home special trophies.

Bronzes of a cowboy and bucking horse, straight from the Roundup logo and standing twelve inches tall, will be the prizes for the winners of the riding, roping, wrestling and racing.

The bronzes are designed by Belle Fourche resident TR Chytka.

A long-time sculptor, as a kid, Chytka craved the hour every Friday afternoon in school when it was time for art. 

A senior in high school, he was introduced to sculpting and got caught up in it. He was fascinated that he could “see the other side” of the artwork.

He grew up competing in Little Britches Rodeos, then graduated to college rodeo and the pros. He was a bull rider, but “nothing ever happened much,” he quipped; his rodeo career cut short due to injuries. 

Chytka’s work revolves around rodeo and the western lifestyle. He has done works such as the life-sized horses at Jorgensen Park in Spearfish; bronzes of world champion bull rider Charlie Sampson and Lane Frost on Red Rock for the PRCA Hall of Fame Garden, and commissioned bronzes for the PRCA contract awards ceremonies for the Man in the Can, Announcer of the Year, the Remuda Award, and more. 

He is one of the few sculptors who does his own casting. He learned the method by trial and error, creating a flexible rubber mold, then pouring wax in it, attaching the screws and rods, pouring the ceramic shell and silica sand on it, pouring in the metal, then sandblasting and polishing it.

“Not a lot of artists do this process,” he said, “because it takes a lot of equipment and you have to be half-blacksmith, half chemist. There’s nothing glamorous about it.” 

He says there are similarities between rodeo and being an artist. “Going to shows and doing artwork is like rodeo. You’re not guaranteed a wage.” Doing rodeo-themed artwork keeps him in the loop and in touch with his rodeo friends, and traveling.  

Chytka loves what he does. “I decided a long time ago I was going to do what I liked. And I don’t have to report to anybody.”

The creativity spills out of him. “What goes in the eyes comes out the hands,” he says. 

The ten bronzes that Black Hills Roundup champions will take home have the same image as pictured on the Roundup logo. The base of each will have the wording of each event and the year. 

The Black Hills Rodeo kicks off with the ranch rodeo on June 30 and continues with four pro rodeo performances July 1-4. Tickets are going quickly for the July 3 performance, so the public is encouraged to buy tickets now, and online to avoid waiting in line. 

July 1 is Family night, with four tickets for $48. July 2 is Chutes for Charity night, and July 3 is Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. July 4 is Military and First Responders Day. The June 30-July 3 performances begin at 7 pm; July 4 is a 3 pm matinee.

The Roundup will be aired live on the Cowboy Channel + app and replayed at a later date on the Cowboy Channel. 

General admission tickets are $15 for children 12 and under and $24 for adults. Reserved seating tickets $29-$34. They can be purchased online and at the gate. 

For more information, visit the website at BlackHillsRoundup.com or call the Black Hills Roundup Office at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center at 415 Fifth Avenue, Belle Fourche, S.D. (605.723.2010).

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The WRANGLER Horse & Rodeo News has been the leading equine publication of the Rocky Mountain Region since 1987. Under the new ownership of the DeLancey Family in 2022, The WRANGLER is now headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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