Emanuel Chase was born on December 22, 1925, to Joseph Sr. and Anna F. (Fredericks) Chase. He grew up and attended school in Elbowoods. He was still young when his father died, and he helped raise his four siblings.
In the 1940s, Emanuel, the oldest brother of Joe and Emerson Chase, had the foresight to make use of the hundreds of horses and the many young men on the Fort Berthold Reservation to build rodeo arenas.
Emanuel then talked those young men into coming to the practices and taking part in the rodeo events. There were many outstanding saddle bronc riders in the years that followed who made Fort Berthold famous and were the result of Emanuel’s efforts to make life better for the young men on the reservation.
All of them will tell you it is because of Emanuel that they rode so well. And he always told them to be proud of their heritage wherever they went. He was the driving force on Fort Berthold that resulted in a number of good rodeo cowboys.
In 1949, Emanuel helped put on the first matched bronc riding at Sanish–the North Dakota State Saddle Bronc Riding Championship. The next year, he matched the great Indian bronc rider, Homer Stands, on four of Feek Tooke’s horses in the first matched ride in Dickinson.
Emanuel did a lot of rodeoing, mostly in the Upper Midwest. He competed in Chicago in the late 1940s and in three events–calf roping, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding–at the 1951 San Antonio rodeo. He won in saddle bronc riding and was selected as the all-around cowboy at San Antonio.
His brother, Joe, once said, “I remember Emanuel spurred harder than any cowboy I’ve ever seen. And he pushed us hard and was always proud of our achievements. He was a real cowboy and my hero.”
Emanuel’s untimely death from pneumonia in March 1951 was a great loss to North Dakota rodeo.
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