Eagle Butte, SD
Marty Hebb, a Cheyenne River Indian from Eagle Butte, S.D., adds his name to the rodeo record books once again. Hebb came to the 2001 Indian National Finals Rodeo with four Saddle Bronc Riding Championships under his belt, but that wasn’t enough for the competitive title holder.
In last August of 2001, Hebb lost his cousin and traveling partner, T.C. Holloway, in a single car accident just outside of Rapid City, S.D., with pure determination in his heart, he dedicated his performance at the INFR to his late cousin only to find that the results were to fall in his favor. He rode four bucking horses for a total of 290 points, ended up winning his fifth INFR Saddle Bronc Riding Championship, and shattered the previous record of four championships.
Hebb not only has another trophy saddle and belt buckle to hang on the wall, he also left Billings, Mont., with $5000 in his Wrangler jeans pockets, and the satisfaction of yet another claim to a prestigious title.
Hebb was excited to take the INFR’s tribute to the cowboy spirit to Billings for the first time. “It’s a little closer to home,” he said. “And I’m more acclimated to the climate in Billings versus being down south somewhere.”
When asked what the INFR meant to him, Hebb responded, “I like the INFR because a person doesn’t have to travel as hard to make the Finals. It has the same rules as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and the money is just as good, so it’s a pretty good deal for us, I guess.”
Not only is Hebb a genuinely nice person, he has earned the respect of his Native American people, in and out of the rodeo arena. He doesn’t put one title in front of the other either. When you’re the World Champion, it means you are the best in the world, and that’s as good as it gets. Look for him to be back at the pay window at the INFR possibly winning a few more championships.