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According to family, Neil Mutchler loved rodeo, grandkids and Hereford cows.  The Mutchler Ranch is making a donation to this year's old man's breakawayevent during the Newell Labor Day Rodeo in honor of Neil who passed away this past May.
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According to family, Neil Mutchler loved rodeo, grandkids and Hereford cows. The Mutchler Ranch is making a donation to this year's old man's breakawayevent during the Newell Labor Day Rodeo in honor of Neil who passed away this past May.

Newell Labor Day Rodeo a tradition for Mutchler family


F.Ganje - August 30, 2018

NEWELL, SD – Small communities have big thinkers.  Take the many people who make up the Newell Community Club and other volunteer organizations within the small town that sits just at the edge of the Black Hills.  Nowhere does that become more evident than during the annual Newell Labor Day celebration, says rodeo chairman Matt Mangis. Both he and J.D. Mutchler are active in the celebration.  This year, the Mutchler Ranch is donating to the old man’s breakaway roping held during the Newell Labor Day Rodeo, Monday, September 3, 2018,  in memory of their Dad, Neil.

“Dad loved rodeo,” says J.D. “There were a lot of those folks early on who either started or kept the Newell Labor Day celebration going.  Along with others, Dad did a lot of work around the rodeo grounds.” He added, “Dad roped in the Northwest Ranch Cowboy and South Dakota Rodeo Associations and later competed in old man’s breakaway. You couldn’t take him anywhere without him knowing somebody.” 

The Mutchler’s have been a part of ranch country around Newell since 1920 when their Grandpa Ira (better known as Shy) homesteaded around the Mud Butte area.  His Dad Neil took over the ranch after his Grandpa died and then the three brothers, Marvin, Bill and  J.D., who now ranches west of Newell. Their Dad, who J.D.’s wife Danelle Mutchler says loved rodeos, grandkids and Hereford cows, passed away this past May.

“Growing up, Dad rodeoed, played basketball, and when he was older, coached basketball.  As the years went by and there were grandkids, it was pretty common to see him at basketball games, soccer matches and rodeos,” says Mutchler.  “He and John Reinert of Newell, SD traveled to quite a few basketball games over the years. And our daughter played for the Northern States Wolves in Aberdeen and Dad would come along with us,” he recalls.

“Dad was such a big Newell Irrigator fan that he would tell our Mom (Margaret) not to travel from her business to home because the weather and roads were bad, while at the same time be heading out the door to drive to Lemmon, SD to watch an Irrigators/Cowboys game.”

All the Mutchler brothers made it to the National High School Rodeo Finals in calf and/or team roping.  J.D. would go on to compete in the Northwest Ranch Cowboy Association, South Dakota Rodeo Association, the Badlands Circuit and the PRCA. He and brother Marvin still compete in a few ropings.

Their Dad competed in calf and team roping for many years with Dick Keil, Newell, SD., Margaret’s brother and  uncle to the boys.   J.D. shares that you could find Neil either talking about rodeo over coffee with friends or going down the road to find the next one.

“He liked to rope but he loved bronc riding and ranch rodeos,” shares J.D.  “ In later years, a bunch of those guys might be having coffee at Kickstart one minute and be jumping in an outfit to catch a bronc riding the next.”

 J.D. and wife Danelle are the organizers of the Cory Price Memorial Roping held annually as a fundraiser for the Newell High School Rodeo Club.  Set for Sunday, September 2, 2018, (enter at 9a.m., rope at 10a.m.) the event is a big draw for roping enthusiasts and supporters alike.

“Most smaller communities have a fundraiser of one kind or another to help the school rodeo club and the Cory Price Memorial Roping is what we do,” says J.D.  “The money goes back to the rodeo club for things like scholarships and to help pay entry fees and expenses for kids attending regionals and for those who qualify for the National High School Rodeo.”  

There’s no place like home, as the saying goes, and J.D. says the same holds true for the Newell Labor Day celebration. “It’s a community deal,” observes J.D. “ I’ve roped there, all my brothers, my family, daughter and sons have entered there.  My brother Marvin, he’s in it too and his daughters compete in barrel racing.  This year, my brother Bill won’t be able to make it but he’s here most years.

He adds, “The Newell Labor Day celebration is like one, big friend and family reunion.”    

Listen to the live interview ON DEMAND at KBHB Radio on line.



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