Buffalo Roundup Horseback CreW
Custer State Park has had a long tradition of using private citizens to help with its annual buffalo roundup.
The orientation and roundup will include 2 days of riding.
Thursday's orientation ride allows riders to get oriented to the terrain and the buffalo.
Friday, we will drive the herd about 5 miles into the corrals. This is a high profile public event, with as many as 15,000 spectators present on Roundup morning.
This can be very strenuous work for riders and horses. The terrain is steep and often rocky.
- Horses should be shod.
- Rough country running should be expected.
- Horses will work in close proximity to buffalo, and must be able to react quickly.
- Stream crossings may be encountered.
- Jumping fallen trees may be necessary.
- Do not bring horses that are not fit, stallions or late gestation mares, green-broke horses, or horses that have not had extensive outdoor use.
Riders will work in teams and take orders from their assigned Team Leader.
At a minimum, tack shall include a breast collar; a crupper and flank cinch is also recommended. This is not easy riding! If horse, rider, or tack is not up to these standards, please do not apply. We are not able to reference or recommend Horse Lease or Rental Agents.
Twenty riding positions are open to the general public.
- Completed applications must be emailed or mailed to the park office by July 15.
- No more than two applications may be submitted, per email or mail. More than two will void all applications.
- The lottery draw will be July 16.
- Successful applicants will be notified by July 23.
- Chosen riders will be sent additional information and waiver forms that must be returned no later than August 15.
Successful applicants are not eligible to reapply for the next three years.
French Creek Horse Camp
Limited accommodations are available at the French Creek Horse Camp in Custer State Park.
Campers must pay the regular camping fees of $30 (+tax) per unit, per night.
A limited number of camper cabins are available for $50 (+tax) per night.
A valid park entrance license is required.
Participants will trailer their horses to and from horse camp and the starting point on each day. Lunch is provided at the corrals on Friday.