CHEYENNE, Wyoming (CBS4) – The 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo event is largely dedicated to rodeo and country music icon, Chris Ledoux. Ledoux, a longtime resident of Wyoming, will be honored posthumously at the 125and annual “Daddy of ’em All” event with the unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue along Interstate 25.
When many think of country music and rodeos, they think of Cheyenne Frontier Days. However, when Rodeo General Chairman Jimmy Dean Siler thinks of Frontier Days, he can’t help but think of the Wyoming icon.
“We have a world champion bareback rider, and we have a world-class artist in country music. We’re talking about Chris Ledoux,” Siler said.
Before becoming a music and rodeo icon, Ledoux moved to Wyoming with his military family. Ledoux graduated from Central High in Cheyenne, which is just a few blocks from the CFD rodeo ground.
Ledoux became an award-winning musician who often performed among the likes of Garth Brooks. Ledoux was also a champion athlete in rodeo competitions. Ledoux died in 2005.
When considering how to do the 125and “Great” CFDs, Siler said honoring Ledoux was a no-brainer.
“The best way to do it in style is to honor one of our heroes and favorite people in Wyoming,” Siler told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Siler and his team commissioned famed bronzer D. Michael Thomas to construct a larger-than-life statue of Ledoux. The one and a half size sculpture shows Ledoux bareback on a horse.
The sculpture has been completed and transported to the CFD grounds where it will be unveiled under the CFD sign along I-25.
“We put it there for everyone to see,” Siler said. “Every time we see him, we get a little more excited.”
Chris Ledoux’s son Ned will open for Garth Brooks on Friday the 23rdrd.
CBS4’s Dillon Thomas is set to speak with Garth, who will likely share stories about his connection to Ledoux and why he’s dedicating his performance to him.
Although Ledoux will never return to the Cheyenne Frontier Days field again, his legacy will live on forever at the fan-favorite event.
“I think he would be very humble. Chris was an amazing person,” Siler said.