ICONS

Donna Shedeed’s list of ac­com­plish­ments is even longer than her leg­endary ca­reer in the arena. By Chelsea Shaf­fer

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Departments - Donna Shedeed

“My folks were farm­ers, and I just had a farm team to ride. I wasn't al­lowed to ride the fast one, just the slower one.” — DONNA SHEDEED

“Sher­iff’s Of­fice, may I ask who is call­ing?” Donna Shedeed, 81, said when she an­swered a call from a strange num­ber this Au­gust, though that num­ber hap­pened to be The Team Rop­ing Jour­nal’s of­fice line.

“Just a trick I learned on Face­book for when strange num­bers call!” she laughed, her iconic big per­son­al­ity shin­ing through the phone line.

Donna was caught off guard with the in­ter­view re­quest, and be­cause of that, wasn’t pre­pared to rat­tle off her mile-long list of ac­com­plish­ments—one that spans decades, events, and skill sets, and has gar­nered her ac­claim from the Na­tional Se­nior Pro­fes­sional Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion’s Hall of Fame to the Casey Tibbs Foun­da­tion’s Rodeo Cow­girl Great Award.

“I’ve al­ways just loved horses,” Donna, the self-pro­claimed “Queen of the TieOn”, said. “My folks were farm­ers, and I just had a farm team to ride. I wasn’t al­lowed to ride the fast one, just the slower one.”

From those hum­ble begin­nings aboard work horses, Shedeed built a life in rodeo with her hus­band Bob, who she in­tro­duced to the life­style when they mar­ried some 52 years ago. Bob, who is now 75 and a 4E header, went on to win Na­tional Se­nior Pro Rodeo all-around, rib­bon rop­ing, calf rop­ing, and team rop­ing ti­tles— all while Donna and Bob built a busi­ness, Shedeed’s Coast-to-Coast hard­ware store, in Rushville, Nebraska.

The NSPRA wel­comed both Bob and Donna into its Hall of Fame in 2008, hon­or­ing Donna for her two Rib­bon Rop­ing world ti­tles she and Bob won, as well as the three all-around world ti­tles she won in 2001, 2003, and 2005. In 2016, the Casey Tibbs Foun­da­tion hon­ored Donna as a “Rodeo Cow­girl Great” for her ex­cel­lence in the arena and in the com­mu­nity and her con­tri­bu­tions to the legacy of rodeo in South Dakota.

Donna and Bob, who raised five chil­dren, with 15 grand­chil­dren, and sev­eral great grand­chil­dren, are known as lead­ers in the cow­boy-church com­mu­nity, lead­ing ser­vices at NSPRA events and at Ty Yost’s Rapid City rop­ings each Septem­ber.

“Donna and Bob spent win­ners on my place in Ari­zona be­fore I bought it,” Yost said. “I heard they were great peo­ple, so they just stayed. We be­came friends af­ter that. We re­ally en­joy hav­ing them lead the service at Rapid City.”

While Donna and Bob have en­joyed rodeo­ing to­gether through­out their ca­reers, Donna said she found it best that they com­pete sep­a­rately.

“We prac­tice to­gether, and he pulls the Heel-O-Matic for me now,” Donna said. “Bob al­ways had great part­ners, like Dale Woodard. So he didn’t need me! But I do re­mem­ber, one year, we were at a Se­nior Rodeo in Ri­fle, Colorado. And we were sit­ting up in the stands wait­ing for them to say who won the All-Around saddle. And Bob went down to see if he’d won, be­cause he thought he had, and it turns out I won it and beat him by five points!”

Donna, who won the WPRA’s Bad­lands Cir­cuit heel­ing ti­tle as re­cently as 2011, still trains her own horses and loves to com­pete in Ari­zona, where they have called home in the win­ter months since 1992. They fit in their rop­ing around chas­ing their grand­kids and great grand­kids. One grand­son, Steven DeWolfe, leads the In­dian Na­tional Fi­nals Rodeo Tour Stand­ings in the bare­back rid­ing, while their grand­daugh­ter, Tif­fany McGhan, is plan­ning her wed­ding to Tuf Cooper while on the road with him.

SHEDEED ROP­ING AT RANCHO RIO IN WICKENBURG, ARI­ZONA.

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