David Dahl

Modern-era Rodeo

Inducted 2018

David (Dave) Dahl, internationally-known bronc saddle maker, was born on December 12,1945 to John and Mildred Dahl at Keene, North Dakota. The third child born in a family of eleven children, he grew up on the family farm. He attended grade school at both the Keogh School and Reservation Schools near his home. In 1962, Dave graduated from the New Town, North Dakota High School.

Dave worked on the Keogh Ranch, the Nelson Ranch, and the Figure Four Ranch and rode saddle bronc at various rodeos throughout North Dakota during his high school years. In college, he was very active on the rodeo team. He was the team captain in 1967 and won the National Intercol-legiate Rodeo Saddle Bronc Championship. In 1968, he won the South Dakota Rodeo Association Saddle Bronc Championship. Dave joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, winning rodeos at Wahoo and Chambers, Nebraska as well as Hudson, Wisconsin and various others. Dave graduated from Black Hills state college (now Black Hills State University) in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a major in education, and taught for three years.

Dave’s saddle making career began when he ran into rodeo buddy, Dick Jones near Ft. Pierre, SD. Jones was making saddles, and Dave wanted to make one for his younger brother. An experienced saddle bronc rider himself, Dave took to making bronc riding saddles with ease. His hard work and self-motivation, as well as his love of rodeo, has led him to become one of the top bronc saddle makers in the nation. World Champion customers include Tom Reeves, Glen O’Neill, Jeff Willert, Taos Muncy, and Zeke Thurson, just to name a few. In 2016, six cowboys at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo rode on Dahl saddles. In 2017, eleven of the top twelve Canadian finalists rode Dahl saddles as well as ten of the top fifteen at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Dave currently makes 54 saddles per year and has no plans to retire anytime soon. Dave is the proud father of two daughters and one son (deceased).