Tom Tescher was a tough, ranch-raised kid who grew up dreaming of being a bronc rider. He was the 6th of 15 children of Matt and Antoinette Tescher of Sentinel Butte. He joined older brother, Alvin, in the Medora rodeo arena in 1943 at age 17.
Tom won the first North Dakota Saddle Bronc Riding Championship in 1948 and 1950 at Sanish. The quiet, soft-spoken cowboy could compete in most events, but saddle bronc and steer wrestling were where he made his money.
He placed or won at most of the country’s big rodeos–Denver, Cheyenne, Pendleton and Madison Square Garden. He had a fierce riding style and often rode with his tongue sticking out.
He was ranked in the top 10 of saddle bronc riders from 1955 through 1958 and qualified for the first National Finals Rodeo in Dallas in 1959. He qualified again in 1960, but passed up the chance for fame and glory because it would have meant being away from his family on Christmas Day.
Tom, along with his brother Jim, established the Home on the Range Champions’ Ride at Sentinel Butte in 1957. Tom and his wife, Lorraine, raised 10 children on their ranch near Medora. Keeping food on the table came first and rodeoing second.
Former World Champion Casey Tibbs once said, “There’s no telling how far he would have gone if he wasn’t plagued by common sense.”
Tom Tescher died September 25, 2008.
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