Casey Tibbs on Easy Money in Nemo, SD)

Casey’s Biography

Casey Duane Tibbs was born March 5, 1929, 50 miles northwest of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in a log cabin on the family homestead on the Cheyenne River to John F. and Florence M. (Leggett) Tibbs. He attended school at Orton Flat. At 14 years of age, Casey started riding in rodeos in South Dakota. By 15, he was trailing bucking stock from rodeo to rodeo for Bud Anis and had moved on to nationwide competition.

In 1949, at age 19, Casey became the youngest man ever to win the national saddle bronc-riding crown. Between 1949 and 1955, he won a total of six PRCA saddle bronc-riding championships, a record still unchallenged, plus two all-around cowboy championships and one bareback-riding championship.

More About Casey’s Championships

For many years, Casey wrote a syndicated newspaper column, “Let’er Buck,” for Rodeo Sports News. He also wrote and starred in the movies “Born to Buck” and “Young Rounder,” and starred in the movie “Bronc Busters.” Casey was a regular in stunt work in television and the movies. In 1958, Casey appeared on the television show, “This is Your Life,” with Ralph Edwards. That year he took a rodeo troupe to the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. In 1973, he introduced rodeo to the Japanese with 162 performances of his troupe.

Casey was one of the founders of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, dedicated to improving image of the cowboys and professional rodeo. He always had time to visit children in hospitals and did charity work with groups such as 4-H. His picture appeared in such diverse places as the cover of Life magazine, Roy Rogers Funny Book, counter check blanks, countless newspapers and books. His name has been used on streets, buildings, rodeos and much more.

Casey has been described as being to rodeo what Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were to baseball, what Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali were to boxing and what Red Grange was to football. In August of 1989, Casey was awarded the golden boot from the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund for his contribution to the industry. A larger than life bronze statue of Casey riding the famed bucking horse Necktie was dedicated in August of 1989 at the Pro-rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Casey passed away on January 28,1990, while watching the Super Bowl at his home in Ramona, California. He is buried near his hometown of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. 

Actor, Stuntman and Director

After his successful rodeo career, Tibbs became a stunt man, stunt coordinator, technical director, livestock consultant, wrangler, and actor for the film industry. He wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the film Born to Buck.


Bronco Buster (1952) as Rodeo Rider
Screen Director’s Playhouse (1956), “Partners”, as himself with Brandon deWilde
To Tell the Truth (1957) as himself
Wild Heritage (1958) as Rusty (trail boss)
The Ann Sothern Show in “Katie and the Cowboy” (1959)
Tales of Wells Fargo (1 episode: “Town Against a Man” 1961) as Sheriff Jim Hogan
Tomboy and the Champ (1961) as himself
A Thunder of Drums (1961) as Trooper Baker
Stoney Burke as Rodeo Judge in “Point of Honor” (1962) and as himself in “Kincaid” (1963)
The Rounders (1965) as Rafe
Branded (2 episodes: “Romany Roundup”: Part 1 and 2 1965)
The Young Rounders (1966)
The Rounders as Folliat (1 episode: “Four Alarm Wing Ding” 1966)
The Monroes (1 episode: “To Break a Colt” 1967)
Junior Bonner (1972) (uncredited actor and rodeo coordinator) as Parade Grand Marshal
Climb an Angry Mountain (1972) (TV) as Buck Moto
The Waltons as Flagman (1 episode: “The Conflict” 1974)
Breakheart Pass (1975) as Jackson
More Wild Wild West (1980) (TV) as Juanita’s brother


A Thunder of Drums (1961) (stunts) (uncredited)
The Rounders (1965) (stunts)
Gunpoint (1966) (stunts) (uncredited)
The Plainsman (1966) (stunts) (uncredited)
Texas Across the River (1966) (stunt coordinator) (uncredited)
Firecreek (1968) (stunts) (uncredited)
Heaven with a Gun (1969) (stunts) (uncredited)
The Cowboys (1972) (stunts) (uncredited)
Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) (TV) (stunt coordinator)


The Young Rounders (1966)
Born to Buck (1966; and producer)

Tributes & Honors

Annual Casey Tibbs Ramona Roundup in Ramona, California
28-foot-tall bronze likeness, ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Ian Tyson wrote a song about Tibbs for the album I Outgrew the Wagon
Mentioned in the film Smokey and the Bandit
Mentioned in the film Bus Stop.
Cole Elshere is set to portray Casey Tibbs in the upcoming documentary film “Floating Horses”.
In 1979, he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, the highest honor in rodeo.


1955 Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame
2004 Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame
2002 Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame
2001 Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame
2010 Texas Trail of Fame

Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center

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Sources: Biography and Photos Filmography Information