Saddled up and ready to rope

RAPID CITY, S.D (KEVN) - Rope it in because the AHQA Horse Show is in full swing at the Black Hills Stock Show.

From Texas to Canada, contestants from all over the world are ready to compete in the horse show.

"Horses draw people from all avenues. And horses have been apart of history of South Dakota for centuries," Jim Hunt, one of the Black Hills Stock Show directors, said.

From cattle cutting to roping, Hunt said entries are up this year by 30 percent compared to last year.

"Without the horse and the cattle and the western way of life. I would have never found the roping," JD Yates, a professional roper, said.

For the past eight years, JD Yates makes his way from Colorado to South Dakota to participate in the activities in the horse show.

He's left a lasting impact.

Hunt said, in general, the Black Hills Stock Show not only brings the western culture together but an economic boost too.

With vendors lined up at the James Kjerstad Event Center and with Hunt anticipating the show to attract 400 thousand people "of course that's good for motels and restaurants," he said.

Yates admires the children practicing to become cowboys but said "there's a lot of people that don't really understand it."

"But all it takes is one really good visit to the right place. And then they'll understand it and love it for life," Hunt said.

For the first time, Protect the Harvest, a non-profit, will conclude the horse show on Friday at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.