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National Rodeo Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2012
Bill McMacken

Bill McMacken


South Dakota

Saddle Bronc Rider
Bareback Bronc Rider
Steer Wrestler
Steer and Bull Rider
Calf Roper

Truly an all-around contender, Bill McMacken was born on the family ranch in Sully County, South Dakota, in 1913. With three older brothers, he hit the rodeo road around 1928, and the quartet soon became known on the circuit as the “Four Horsemen of South Dakota.”

McMacken competed from Boston and Madison Square Garden to Fort Worth, Denver and Cheyenne, but he proved a particularly strong contender in the Northwest. At Ellensburg, Washington, he took four all-around championships in 1936, 1937, 1939 and 1945. He did the same at Pendleton, Oregon, in 1937 and 1939, capturing the prestigious Sam Jackson Trophy. In 1941 at Pendleton he set a world record steer-wrestling time of 9.8 seconds, which stood for a decade. In 1944 McMacken took the all-round title at Lewiston, Idaho, and he did the same at Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1945. He also was a high-point leader with the American Rodeo Team that toured Australia in 1938-1939.

McMacken made cowboy advertisements for Camel cigarettes, tutored bronc-rider Casey Tibbs, and in later years served as arena director for the Harry Knight Rodeo Company. A CTA, RAA, RCA, and PRCA member for life, he was inducted into the Ellensburg Hall of Fame in 1997. Bill McMacken died in a plane crash in 1967.

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