Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rodeo Pickup Man Reports $22,150 in Losses Due to Pandemic

Among the costs of the coronavirus recession: $22,150 in rodeo income for one Clint Humble of Newell, South Dakota. The professional horseman and rodeo pickup man submitted this accounting of his losses due to the pandemic to the Interim Joint Ag and Natural Resources Committee of the South Dakota Legislature this month:

Clint Humble, rodeo losses due to coronavirus pandemic, submitted to Interim Joint Agriculture and Natural Resources, South Dakota Legislature, 2020.09.14.
Clint Humble, rodeo losses due to coronavirus pandemic, submitted to Interim Joint Agriculture and Natural Resources, South Dakota Legislature, 2020.09.14.

Governor Noem sees the value in posing at rodeos for her political livelihood; perhaps during the Special Session on October 5, she’ll urge lawmakers to distribute some coronavirus relief dollars to real rodeo workers whose livelihood has been eroded by the pandemic.


  1. Debbo 2020-09-24

    That’s the economy of the GOP, Economic Oaf and Kruel Kristi.

    “Based on an analysis of businesses on Yelp, as of August 31, 163,735 businesses in the United States that had been open on March 1, 2020 have closed. That’s up 23 percent since July 10, and of those businesses marked closed 60 percent will not reopen, or 97,966 permanently closed businesses with 65,769 temporarily closed ones. The most affected are restaurants — 32,109 total closures — retail and shopping (with 30,374) and beauty and spas (16,585).”

    Carl Bialik and Daniel Gole, Yelp

  2. Fairburn 2020-09-24

    But he hasn’t lost any income from cancelled SD rodeos because they have been held despite COVID-19, I’d guess.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-25

    Fairburn, do you have any idea how much SD rodeos pay compared to rodeos in other states? Do our rodeos lag in wages just like our other industries?

  4. Jackie 2020-09-25

    Rodeo is separated by Professional and Amateur. The rodeos Humble posted are pro rodeos (PRCA). Pick up men are hired by a stock contractor to pick up for that contractor’s rodeos (pro and amateur alike). I do not know what a pick up man gets paid at the SDRA (South Dakota Rodeo Association), but those SDRA rodeos that went on already had their own pickup men per the contactor of that rodeo. Probably the bigger the rodeo, the more pay, like the Pendleton Roundup in Humble’s list. That is a multi-day event. I did not know what a pickup man got paid for pro rodeos but knew it wasn’t excessive, so seeing his list was enlightening. No such thing a man who got rich picking up. That paycheck includes their fuel for travel, feed for horses (minimum of 3 horses per rodeo performance, but probably haul 4 or 5), and lodging unless they have a living quarters horse trailer. They are horseback for hours often in less than desirable weather, like extreme heat or a few occasions of extremely muddy conditions all while keeping the cowboys safe.

  5. Fairburn 2020-09-25

    Sorry, Cory, no. I don’t know about SD wages for rodeos. Jackie had some good input. I was more interested that apparently other states shut down at least some of their rodeos but it looks like SD hasn’t. I know some people who rodeo for fun across the region and they seemed to be participating this year despite COVID-19. And our county fair went on, though a group I volunteer with chose not to have a booth this year. Out here West River it’s as if there is no such thing as a pandemic until you go to a national chain store in Rapid City and are asked to wear a mask. Independent stores are about 50/50 in asking.

  6. o 2020-09-25

    Debbo reminds me that this pandemic very well may re-set our shopping priorities. In the good old days, shopping had increasingly become an activity independent of need. People just went out shopping; they bought things just to be buying things. Once that habit is broken, what if we become more thoughtful/frugal in our purchasing? How much of our retail economy was propped up by needless spending?

Comments are closed.