Posts have been put in the ground and the new rodeo arena off State Avenue and near the Biesiot Activities Center on Dickinson State’s campus has come to life.
“Several years ago, The Roughrider Fair and Expo had an arena just north of where the new arena is,” Chip Poland, chair of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Studies at Dickinson State, said. “They used it during the summer for the fair and expo and the college used it for the rest of the year for rodeo and some classes. When they built the fairgrounds and a new arena down near the airport, Roughrider relocated their activities to the new arena. The old arena didn’t have a use.”
When the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library was going to be in Dickinson, the spot designated for it was where the Dickinson State rodeo team’s old arena was.
They had to tear it down, leaving the team nowhere to practice except the indoor arena.
“The Fair Board allowed us to use the new fairgrounds but it was a bit cumbersome getting kids out of class, getting horses and going down south,” Poland said. “There was no office space for the coach and a variety of other downsides.”
Poland eventually started working with the Heritage Foundation at Dickinson State to raise enough money to put an arena back on campus and finally all the hard work is paying off.
Jordan Tescher of Tescher Fencing LLC out of Beach did the work on the arena and it didn’t take him long to get everything done.
“When he came in to start pounding posts was the last week of May,” Poland said. “He had it up in two and a half days. He has to move two posts, put in two more posts and relocate a gate and it will be done”
Poland, who also oversees the rodeo program for the Blue Hawks, thinks that it is very important to be able to do everything on campus again.
The roping arena is on the north side of the complex and it is named the Hendrickson Roping Arena while to the south of it is the Bice Riding Arena.