Grand Marshals - Linda & Rick Smith
Introducing the Roundup's 2024 Grand Marshals
I am truly humbled at the thought of being selected as the 2023 Grand Marshal of the Crooked River Roundup. It is hard to believe that I have joined the group of Roundup legends that have been honored in the past.
I came on the board of directors in 1977. I was president in 1989 and 1990 and then again in 1999 and 2000. I also served several terms as secretary and many as the treasurer of the organization. Most of my time on the board centers around horse racing and grounds work. We rebuilt the bucking chutes at my shop in 2007 and I helped plan and build many of the box stalls on the grounds. I took four years off from the board while I was working in Bend and had high school age kids. All of my sons have been involved in the Roundup. My youngest is on the board now. I am now “somewhat retired,” but am busy with rodeo, racing, school board work and running a 200 acre hay farm and tending to my cows.
Recently, the Roundup posted about who purchased the first 12 shares of stock in the organization back in 1945. Three of the 12 were sold to my great uncles. Two of them served on the founding board; Lance Smith and Herm Meder. The other was selected to serve as a grand marshal of the roundup, Sumner Houston (1978). Great Uncle Lance also was selected to serve as grand marshal (1980). My dad, Art Smith, came on the board in 1956 and served until 1980. He served several years as arena director and helped pickup at local high school and PeeWee rodeos. My mom, Marie Smith, was selected to serve as grand marshal in 1998. The Roundup runs deep in our family roots.
I spent a little bit of time team roping and have owned a few racing horses, but my passion is planning and executing a successful event.
My favorite part of the event is the running of the Art Smith Memorial on Saturday night of the races. This year will be the 34th running of this race in honor of my dad. It is a bit emotional but it also means we are about done.
Frankly, I feel that much of the event is about bringing people together to celebrate friendships - old and those made during the event. I stayed on the board because of the great “characters” that I have served with.
If I had a favorite cowboy it was Manuel Enos. While the horse he partnered with in the famous War Paint picture was better known, Manuel became a friend and came back to Prineville until he passed. Manuel would hang with me while I tallied the judges scores in the rodeo arena, and he would mess with me a bit. He always honored his friends, always had a little mischief in him and was great to be around and told me many stories and I am sure a few tall tales. I miss him!
I am excited to invite you to attend the 2023 Crooked River Roundup and Race Meet this summer in Prineville. The rodeo has grown into one of the most respected in the northwest, and in 2023 will draw more cowboys than ever and feature some of the best stock in the US and Canada. The races will also feature new innovations to enhance your experience and make your time more enjoyable. I’ll see you at the Roundup!
Did you know? In 1982, when Bill Steelhammer resigned from the board, Alvin Grimes nominated Berna (Bill’s wife) to replace him while at the annual stockholders meeting. Berna became the first female member, and they also became the first husband-and-wife team to be honored as Grand Marshals of the parade.