Labor Day Weekend 2023 will be the 35th year for Don King Days which is considered to be the grand finale of equestrian events in the area. It all started back in 1989 when a group of ranchers, ropers and friends of Don King organized the event and named it in honor the world-renowned saddle maker and King’s Saddlery founder who contributed so much to the western culture. Their intent was to celebrate the classic equestrian events unique to the Sheridan area — polo, steer roping and bronc riding. Although there are bigger, more prestigious celebrations out west, few can rival Don King Days. This event truly recaptures the spirit and traditions of the west, and the open-air, unconfined and unhurried atmosphere of rodeos past.
Since the beginning, Don King Days has been and continues to be held at the Big Horn Equestrian Center. Thirty-five acres of grass covered fields lend the perfect venue for the weekend celebration. The three main events are polo, steer roping and bronc riding.
POLO — The largest polo tournament of the Big Horn Polo Club’s season is played over this weekend. Teams composed of players from all over the world, face off in tournament bracket fashion vying for the coveted championship buckle. Both days have polo games, with the Don King Days Cup played on Monday.
STEER ROPING — Steer roping is a sport that developed out of necessity on the open range in the late 1800’s and continues to be a common method of doctoring cattle. The Wyoming Steer Ropers have selected Don King Days as the scene for their season finals. The large open fields of the Big Horn Equestrian Center make the Don King Days steer roping a true test of horsemanship and roping skill. We can safely say there is no other roping like it!
BRONC RIDING — The invitational matched bronc riding at Don King Days is truly unique. As soon as the cowboy is “set”, and the chute opens, the excitement begins! Since there are no fences, the action can get real close, putting the crowd right in the action! Six cowboys selected from a seven state region are invited to match their talents against one another. Sunday, three cowboys each ride two horses, then Monday, a different set of three cowboys ride two horses. The bronc rider with the highest cumulative score is the winner of the Don King Day buckle.
MUSIC –Sunday and Monday after the field action winds down, the Club Houses hosts live country music for your listening and dancing pleasure.
Bring the whole family for old-time western excitement that you won’t forget. Round up your lawn chairs and be ready to spend your weekend watching the action and visiting with old friends out on the grass. Some folks pack a picnic and load a cooler to ‘tailgate’ while others visit the food vendors on site and stop by the Club House for spirits of the liquid kind.
All events are Sunday and Monday. Gates open at 9 am, with events starting at 11 am. Look for updates on Don King Days Facebook page.