The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame proudly announces the honorees for induction on the fifteenth anniversary of this prestigious organization. Local inductees to the Hall of Fame include:
Rising Ranch is a five generation, 115-year old ranch established in 1904 by Oscar and Martha Keener. Oscar and Martha ventured west from Wisconsin and homesteaded what is now Rising Ranch. Rising Ranch is located in southeast Montana 20 miles north of Baker on Highway 7 along Ash Creek. Oscar and Martha farmed, raised sheep and cattle. In 1919 they adopted Pauline (Stroup) Keener (1916-1996). In 1941 Pauline married Murray Melcher (1913-2005). At this time Pauline and Murray took over operation of the ranch and established the first Black Angus cattle herd in southeastern Montana. Pauline and Murray raised sheep and worked hard establishing their herd of Black Angus cattle. Pauline was a charter member of the Baker CowBelles and held numerous offices in the state and national organization. Murray and Pauline loved lambing, horses and watching their herd of cattle prosper. In June of 1944, Linda was born. Her love of animals has kept her working the ranch her entire life. In November, 1963, Linda married Ralph Rising (1934-2018). Together, Ralph and Linda built the cattle herd with Murray and Pauline. In 1980, Ralph and Linda took over operation of the ranch. In 1969, Ralph and Linda adopted Pete (Nistler) Rising. Since 2012, Pete and his wife Carol now live and work on the ranch. In 2018 Pete and Carol took over operation of the ranch. They have two sons, Wyatt and Morgan. After completing college, Wyatt has returned to the ranch to partner with Pete and continue the tradition. Morgan is currently in college and has aspirations to return to the ranch as well. The family is still raising Black Angus cattle, horses and enjoying the agriculture way of life. Pete, Wyatt and Morgan are past members of the National High School Rodeo Association and competed at nationals, current or past members of the PRCA, NIRA, NRA, & NDRA. The entire family has enjoyed rodeos and horse events for generations. They take pride in preserving the cowboy way of life and western heritage.
The following are some of the accomplishments of Josh Reynolds: Bucking Horse Sale Champion 1997-1998; NRA Rookie of the Year 1995; NRA Champion 1996, 1997, 1998; 2005 National Finals Rodeo Qualifier; Two-time Ram National Finals Qualifier; Two-time New Year’s Eve Bucking Ball Champion 2008-2009 Gillette, WY; Two-time Johnny Morris Memorial Champion; Two-Time All American Finals Qualifier; Six-time Chase Hawks Rodeo; Champion of World Class Bucking Horse Assoc. 2013; 2013 Home on the Range Champions Ride, Sentinal Butte, ND; 2015 Miles City Match Bronc Riding Champion; 17-time Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo Qualifier; Many times Jordan Match Bronc Riding Champion; PRCA Gold Card Member 1998-2018 (20 Years).
Entire list of inductees:
Rodeo Legend Inductees
Deb Greenough - Fromberg, MT
Larry Peabody - Pompey’s Pillar, MT
Ryan Mapston - Belt, MT
Josh Reynolds - Ekalaka, MT
Carolynn Vietor - Phillipsburg, MT (first female recipient of Rodeo Legend Award)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ronnie Reed - Billings, MT
Western Heritage Award
Jim Croff - Geyser, MT
Mike McCoy - Laurel, MT
Leonard Wortman - Boulder, MT
Rennaker Family - Hamilton, MT
Kirch Ranch - Absarokee, MT
Lazy K6 Ranch - Fort Benton, MT
Rising Ranch -
Teigan Land and Livestock - Teigan, MT
Montana Rodeo Families
Dennis Tryan Family - Huntley, MT
Pete and Aggie Stenger Family - Billings, MT
Dennis Harms Family - Livingston, MT
Rodney Newman Family - Melstone, MT
Lady Of The West
Lois Hill - Raynesford, MT
Great Montana Pro Rodeo
Great Montana College Rodeo Program
Dawson Community College Rodeo - Glendive, MT
The annual awards banquet will be held Jan. 25, 2020 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center, Billings MT. For more information on all inductees, please access the website at www.montanaprorodeo.org
The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall & Wall of Fame is an organization made up entirely of volunteers from various walks of life. This organization is dedicated to honoring Montana professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls who exemplify our Montana western heritage.
In the past fifteen years, scholarships have been provided to over 179 students totaling $537,000.00 in award money. MPRHWF has become the largest sponsor of high school rodeo scholarships in the nation. Most awards are $3,000, dispersed over the first two years of college. The student recipients are selected by the Montana High School Rodeo Association, based on scholastic ability, rodeo participation, community involvement, strength of character, and need.
The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall & Wall of Fame organization hosts a banquet on the last Saturday of January. At the banquet we award our “Rodeo Legends”, ”Great Montana Ranches”, “Great Montana Families”, and “Western Heritage” honorees.
The banquet and private donations are our primary fund raisers. We also raise funds through the sale of “Brand Blocks”, twelve- inch square pieces of granite with the sponsor’s name, hometown, and registered Montana brand etched into its surface. The Brand Block is attached to the exterior wall of the Southeast corner of the Metra Building, to be kept and displayed in perpetuity.
The MPRHWF commissioned and paid for the spectacular bronze statue of Dan Mortensen on Tee Box, erected at the Metra Park, in Billings, MT, to honor the seven-time Pro Rodeo World Champion Cowboy. The organization has also raised money to create our monument site - the “Wall of Fame” - an impressive brick wall, also at the Metra, to honor Montana’s Professional Rodeo participants with their names inscribed in granite as an everlasting memorial to Montana’s great Rodeo heroes and the Montana western lifestyle
The MPRHWF has made it possible for many of Montana’s young people to get started down a path of education that would otherwise be unavailable to them. These fine young people are our leaders of the future! Please contact us at 406-256-6515 for details on how YOU can be a part of this EXCEPTIONAL PROGRAM to benefit Montana’s youth and promote and preserve our western heritage! Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame is a 501 (c)(3) corporation. (ID #73-1654036)