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National Rodeo Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2012

James "Russ" Madison Jr.


South Dakota

Exhibition Saddle Bronc Rider
Rodeo Stock Contractor
Rodeo Promoter

Born in Bedford, Iowa, in 1879, “Russ”Madison moved with his family to the Black Hills of Dakota Territory in 1886. As a youth he became an expert horse breaker with the Circle Bar Ranch, and he demonstrated his skill for a year with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1900.

In 1917 Madison established the Diamond S Ranch, which became widely known for its superior bucking stock. He became an early stock contractor for the famed South Dakota rodeos at Belle Fourche, Rapid City, and Deadwood in the 1920s, and went on to provide roughstock to venues in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. Among his best-known buckers were Battlefield, Stormy Weather, Headlight, and Comanche. In addition to great bucking horses, Madison also introduced the first Brahma bulls to the region’s cowboy competitors.

Russ Madison was a respected stock contractor for thirty years (1917-1947). In 1986 he was posthumously honored with the Professional Cowboy Award and inducted into the South Dakota Cowboy & Western Heritage Hall of Fame.

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