RED LODGE— World champion bareback rider Deb Greenough will forever live in bronze.
The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame will unveil a limited edition 15 castings in its “Bronze Legacy Series” Friday, April 29 at 10 a.m. at the at the Roosevelt Center in Red Lodge — Greenough's home town. The public is invited to attend the celebration.
Nationally renowned western artist Jeff Wolf of Spanish Fork, Utah, is producing the statues.
Greenough’s rich rodeo history started at birth when he was named after world champion Deb Copenhaver. Greenough began his career in the sport at age six and continued into high school and college before reaching the PRCA. He qualified for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo (College National) finals and for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 13 consecutive years. Greenough won the NFR average title in 1992 and was crowned PRCA Bareback world champion in 1993. His professional career wrapped up with four second-place finishes in the world standings.
"He has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate and ambassador for the sport of rodeo. He always had time and still has time for his fans," said Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame vice president Vern Heisler.
Greenough was inducted to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame at a 2018 ceremony in Colorado Springs.
"Deb is proud of his rich family’s history in professional rodeo dating back to the 1920s and 30s with his grand uncles and aunts," Heisler continued. "Deb’s father Billy was also a successful rodeo rider but Deb is quick to point out that 'try and desire' were the keys to his success."
Wolf, who has reached heights few artists attain, is expected to attend the event. He has placed bronzes in prominent museums, prestigious private collections and on display in public venues. He has won or placed in nearly each art show he has participated in and, according to the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame, may be the only living sculptor to have won Best of Show and People’s Choice awards in six genres of Western art: Wildlife, Figural, Rodeo, Equine, Western, and Native American.
Wolf's donations of time, talent and art have generated over $1 million dollars for charitable causes. Most recently Jeff was commissioned by the City of Payson Utah to produce a bronze of Kaycee Field and to sculpt a bronze for the Championship Award for the PBR Ty Murray Invitational.
The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame is a volunteer 501 c(3) organization providing scholarships for eligible Montana High School Rodeo seniors wishing to pursue higher education with interest in rodeo at the college level. Each $3,000 scholarship is paid to an accredited college or university of the student’s choice. Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee from the Montana High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA), following strict criteria based on grades, rodeo participation, community service, educational plans, and financial need. In 16 years, $570,000.00 has been awarded to 190 students. The sale of bronze sculptures is one way the group raises scholarship money.
In addition to the scholarship program, each year honorees from Montana's rodeo and western world are inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame at an annual banquet in October with proceeds applied toward funding the scholarship program. Honoree names are etched in stone at the MetraPark monument site in Billings alongside a 12-foot bronze statue of world champion Dan Mortensen.
Additional Montana world champions are set to be commissioned and cast in bronze during future years.