“Walk a mile in my shoes” Living Up To The Name – Bud Longbrake
by Blaine Norvold
When you hear the name Longbrake you immediately think of rodeo. The sport of rodeo is a tradition in the Longbrake family that keeps passing down from generation to generation. Bud Longbrake was born in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, in 1962 and raised on a ranch on Ash Creek south of Dupree, SD. They knew he was special when he was born so they gave him a special name not heard of too often in this world, “Emmett” but he was called “Bud”. Bud attended schools in Red Scaffold, Cherry Creek, and Dupree where he graduated from high school. While in school, he was a boxer on a team coached by Dean Schrempp. Once while sparring with his coach, the coach let his guard down and Bud literally whooped up on him, making the coach holler “Ding Ding” to let Bud know he had enough. Bud started rodeoing at nine years old, competing in 4-H rodeos and then on to high school rodeos. He won his first championship trophy saddle in 1980. He won the all around cowboy award at an all-Indian rodeo in Rosebud, SD. His sister, Charlie, also won the girls’ all around at the same rodeo. Bud later joined the SDRA and NRCA and won many championships. He was the NRCA saddle bronc champion for the year in 1983 and 1988. He was runner up SDRA champion twice and the Badlands Circuit Saddle Bronc runner up five times But he had talents that the world needed to see, so he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. His accomplishments paid off as he qualified for the PRCA National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, five times. In 1990, he won the World’s Championship National Finals Saddle Bronc Riding and ended the year in the number 6 position. While rodeoing, he traveled countless miles with a lot of other professional bronc riders. He won some of the largest rodeos in the world including Houston, Ft. Worth, Denver and Salt Lake City to name a few. One of his proudest accomplishments, however, was when he won the “Daddy Of ‘Em All” Rodeo at the Cheyenne Frontier days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He won the first go, the second go, and the short go, a feat they call the 40 percent, which is when you win every go round. That has never been accomplished before or since by any saddle bronc rider at old Cheyenne. A couple shoulder operations and too many miles finally slowed Bud down but he still team ropes and wins his fair share wherever he goes. Now days he is a well-known rodeo contractor along with his dad, Pete Longbrake, mainly producing 4H, high school, and amateur rodeos. Together they’ve built quite a reputation in the rodeo business. They have bucking horses that have been voted by the cowboys as bucking horse of the year several times. Their bucking horse breeding program has been quite successful. Bud’s future plans are to keep in the rodeo business as well as raining quality Chiangus cattle, which he runs on a beautiful ranch south of Dupree, SD. Bud is a well-respected man in this area and beyond, always has a smile and handshake for people plus he never fails to tip his hat when meeting new acquaintances or when entering someone’s home. Respect? I would have to say so. Bud always has a soft spot for his two children and grandchildren who he adores dearly. Bud has accomplished many goals in his life and is still going. He is well known in the rodeo world and most people would know him as the “toothpick cowboy” but that’s another story. There are two things you’ll remember about Bud Longbrake if you ever meet him. His big hands with a firm grip and his jovial laugh. But he’s a cowboy to the core and has many fans; one of them would be the guy who wrote this article.
On the funny side, whenever Willie Cowan introduces Blaine Nordvold to someone he says, “This is Bud Longbrake’s uncle.”