Jack-of-all-trades earns hall of fame inductionGrowing up in a family of 15 children in the Shell Creek area of the Fort Berthold reservation, 10 miles south of Van Hook, Angus Fox was exposed to the life of a cowboy
By: Lisa Call, The Dickinson Press
Growing up in a family of 15 children in the Shell Creek area of the Fort Berthold reservation, 10 miles south of Van Hook, Angus Fox was exposed to the life of a cowboy from a young age, helping his father raise cattle and horses. His extensive experience in rodeo, both in and out of the arena, has earned him an induction into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Fox recalls the impact the rising of Lake Sakakawea, due to a Garrison Dam Project, had on his family when he was an adolescent. The waters forced Fox and his family to relocate to Mandaree. He and his brothers then moved the family’s cattle about 50 miles along trails and dirt roads to the new land.
Having tamed and broke his own horses, Fox began competing in rodeo in 1950 at the age of 14.
“We even practiced at the house,” Fox said.
A jack-of-all-trades in the rodeo arena, Fox participated in an array of events, from saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team roping and bullriding to wild horse racing and calf roping.
Eight years after his rodeo career began, Angus was a member of the Dickinson State University rodeo team, winning the Rocky Mountain Regional Championship in 1958. This win qualified the team for the National College Rodeo, later held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
From 1954 to 1973, Fox accumulated 16 titles, from the High School Rodeo Association, North Dakota Rodeo Association and the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association combined.
As an adult and father, Angus exposed his own children to the sport as well.
“The whole family went in the pickup with the camper on the back, every weekend, wherever it (rodeo) was at,” Bernie Fox, son of Angus Fox, said.
After a colorful and decorated career, Angus Fox decided to step out of the arena in 1980.
“My reactions were gettin’ kinda slow so I just figured I better not go any further,” Angus Fox said.
However, Angus Fox’s participation in rodeo did not stop when he ceased to compete. He went on to judge rodeos from 1980-1986 for the GPIRA as well as the NDRA and the HSRA.
Angus Fox acquired more than just awards out of his prestigious career. He passed on his experience and wisdom from his successes to his children.
“He always passed that along as far as if you are going to do something, you don’t do it half way,” Bernie Fox said. “If you’re going to do something, you put 100 percent of your effort into being the best you can be or don’t even do it at all.”
Now residing in New Town, Angus Fox was a member of the American Painted Horse Association from 1961 to 2007 and continues to raise horses on his Mandaree ranch.
“It’s huge,” Bernie Fox said of his father’s win. “It’s incredible that they’re (NDCHF) honoring him. He just doesn’t talk about himself.”