The Stockman's Banquet and Ball added a new award category this year.
Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim introduces us to to the ball's first ever Horse Person of the Year.
The Black Hills Stock Show Stockman's Banquet and Ball recognized the accomplishments of five individuals Saturday night... and Dean Johnson of Vale was one of them.
Johnson earned the Horseman of the Year award for his contributions to the equine industry... including gross sales of over $1.2 million at the Stock Show's horse sale.
Dean Johnson says, "It's an honor that I can't even completely comprehend. It was not expected. It was not asked for. It is a huge honor. I'm glad that individuals recognize my commitment to the equine industry."
Johnson has been working with horses professionally since he was 18 years old and says he wouldn't have gotten to where he is without his family.
With the advancements in farming technology, Johnson says horses are still a vital part of the agriculture industry.
Dean Johnson says, "Number one it's tradition. That would be the first and foremost. It is tradition. There are jobs that are still more effective, more efficient when you're on horseback. That's the tradition of the West and the fact that it makes our job efficient is the biggest reason we use those horses."
The Stock Show's general manager Ron Jeffries says they added this new category because there's so many cattleman and horseman to recognize in the state.
Black Hills Stock Show General Manager Ron Jeffries says, "You know we've recognized the Stockman of the Year every year and there have been times we've recognized people from the horse industry, but it's such a big category to have both the cattle producers and the horse producers in that same category that we really felt it was important to separate that out."
The ball also featured a banquet, youth scholarship auction, and live music.