The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale began as a way to sell some unwanted horses but soon evolved into an iconic Western event.

In 1950, salesyard owner, Les Boe, and his son-in-law, Bob Pauley, purchased steers from Harvey Lester of Ekalaka, who threw some unbroken horses into the deal. Boe and Pauley found more horses and decided to hold a sale of bucking stock. Riders were paid $5 mount money to ride barebacks and $10 for saddle broncs.

Paddy Ryan and Bob Askin acted as pickup men. This first unofficial sale lasted three days. In 1951, the sale was made an annual event. In 1952, buyers at the sale included famous contractors like Alice Greenough and Leo Cremer. Soon all the top contractors in the country began attending or had representation at the sale, including Gene Autry, Everett Colborn, Harry Knight, Bob Barnes, Feek Tooke, Hoss Inman, Harry Vold, Billy Minick, Irv Korkow, Mike Cervi, Buetler Brothers, and Marvin Brookman.

A match bronc riding between top cowboys began in 1962 and continues today, sanctioned by the PRCA and including the very best bronc riders in the nation.

Wild Horse Racing, Pari-Mutual Horse Racing, Mutton Busting, and Bull Riding are added features in the Sale which also includes a Saturday morning parade down Main Street in Miles City. During this third weekend in May, motels are filled within a hundred-mile radius and the town more than doubles in size.

With changes in the horse market, the Bucking Horse Sale had to adapt with the times and in 2007 added a Match Bronc Riding on Sundays featuring a $5000 purse and 15 bronc riders. From that early start, the Match has grown into one of the largest rough stock events in the country, with 32 of the nation’s best cowboys vying for $50,000 in added money.

The Saturday events changed in 2012, as a three-horse bronc futurity was added to capitalize on the booming rise of bucking horse breeding programs. The classes are open to three-year-olds and up and entrants must offer at least one of the horses for sale.

The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale has been covered by news media from throughout the world. There have been, and are, other bucking horse sales. But there is only one World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

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