Services for Howard Willard Hunter, Sr. Will be held at the Little Wound High School Gymnasium in Kyle, SD on April 9-10, 2015. April 9...Wake Services being at 3pm...Rosary at 7pm. April 10 Catholic Funeral Services at 10am...Burial will be at the Hunter family plot...Hunter Residence.
"Hailing from Kyle in the Pejuta Haka District of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Hunter is considered by many to be one of the greatest Indian cowboys in the history of competitive rodeo. He is a four-time Indian Saddle Bronc World Champion, winning the title in 1980, 1987, 1988 and 1990. He also was the first champion of the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association in 1974, in the bareback and saddle bronc events and was named the all-around champion of the circuit for that year.
In addition to being a dominant figure in the world of Native American rodeo, Hunter was extremely successful in competition outside of this arena. He qualified for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Rodeo three times and won the “Daddy of ’em All” — the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in 1976 when he was only 26 years old. He was the South Dakota Rodeo Association all-around champion in 1971, competing in all three rough stock events — saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding.
Howard continued to ride broncs over four decades. He won the Saddle Bronc Championship for the South Dakota Rodeo Association in 1971. He was the Badlands Circuit Saddle Bronc Champion in 1976, 1978, and 1982. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1976, 1979, and 1980. He qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo fourteen times since it began in 1976 winning four Saddle Bronc Championships in 1980, 1987, 1988 and 1990. He was the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association saddle bronc champion ten times. He was inducted in the South Dakota Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Howard was seriously injured at the Crow Fair Rodeo in Crow Agency, MT on August 19, 1995 when his bronc fell with him. The fall resulted in a traumatic brain stem injury. Although he no longer is able to compete, his love for rodeo is still very deep in his heart and mind. Howard was able to climb back onto a horse despite still suffering the lingering effects of the injury he sustained in his last performance in the rodeo arena."