CUSTER, S.D. (KELO) — The 58th Annual Buffalo Roundup drew thousands of people to Custer with more than 20,000 people on hand for the event.
To many, the Buffalo Roundup is a way of bringing the Old West back to life.
“That’s our goal to bring all the animals in. We run them through the chutes, we do pregnancy checks on the cows, then vaccinate the calves, brand the calves. Just do an overall assessment to make sure everything is looking good and going to stay healthy for us,” Park Superintendent Matt Snyder said.
It takes nine to 10 months to prepare for all angles of this event, such as getting the riders.
“A lot of it does come down to herd health and ensuring that these animals again are just in the best health we can put them in and that’s why today we rounded them up. I was actually a part of the round up on the horses and it was just a fun time doing that,” Game, Fish, and Parks Secretary Kevin Robling said.
This massive event is a full country spectacle, with people from all states participating and viewing, as well as some international visitors showing up to see 1,500 different bison as well as their 400 calves make the journey.
“We had about 50 riders today, 50 to 60 riders, all great riders. Got those buffalo rounded up and it went very, very well. The communication was great, the coordination was great, the staff has been phenomenal, and I can’t thank folks enough for coming out and enjoying the great event,” Robling said.
This years roundup saw the herd move at a slower pace than usual, which park officials say is all right.
“And the riders are going to have to slow down a bit, because they want to make sure their health and their horses stay healthy as well. But yeah, you just kind of play the weather and kind of let the animals do their thing. You know if they want to run harder, they’re gonna follow. If they want to start slowing down, we don’t push them overly hard,” Snyder said.
The 58th Buffalo Roundup continues Saturday with several events.