Ben C. Reynolds was called to heaven to make the big circle on November 3, 2018. As he always said, when it’s your time, you gotta go.
Ben was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on December 9, 1942 to Jimbo and Frances Reynolds. His mother said he was born with a rope in his hand. The family moved to Parkman, Wyoming, in the winter of 1947 to continue work for the Gill Cattle Company of Exeter, Calif.
From the time he could sit a horseback by himself, Ben was out gathering and working with his father, his idol, Roy Gill and the men from the bunkhouse. At 17 years old Ben was put in as second in command of the ranch under his father. He enjoyed his leadership role which would serve him the rest of his life.
Ben attended Slack and Tongue River schools and graduated from Sheridan High School in May of 1960. He enrolled in the army and was stationed in Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri. He was not called to active duty and remained in the Army Reserves.
Ben met Susan Halverson, and on June 25, 1971, they were married. On July 16, 1977 their daughter Elizabeth was born as Ben was roping at the Sheridan, Wyo., Rodeo. He always said he was sure thankful the arena and the hospital were close. Ben and Susan were later divorced and remained friends.
Ben’s rodeo accomplishments are too great to list but a few of the highlights include, roping with his father at 12 years old at his first Sheridan Rodeo and roping at the Sheridan Rodeo 48 more years. He qualified for the National High School Finals in 1960 in Hot Springs, SD. He earned his PRCA card in Billings at his first PRCA rodeo. He roped at Denver many times, Houston, Ft. Worth, Cheyenne, Phoenix, Pendleton, and many more. He was a calf roper, team roper and tripped a little. Ben’s rodeo career spanned five decades and two centuries. His biggest accomplishment wasn’t necessarily that he roped all over the nation but he did aboard horses he bred, raised and trained himself. And his proudest moments was when the other rodeo cowboys wanted to ride his horses to the winners circle.
He was an accomplished horseman who’d forgotten more about horses than most people will ever know. He has broke and trained thousands of horses over his lifetime and helped countless people learn to ride and rope. He’s sent many youth to the high school and college rodeo finals. He’s helped a lot of adults learn to improve their skills with their horses and enjoyed his many hours in the barn teaching.
In 2014, Ben was among the first class of the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees, and wore his buckle on special occasions.
Ben was proceeded in death by his parents and Tuck Seeley who was like a son to him. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth (Stewart) Kincaid, his longtime companion Sue Goodman, her daughter Crystal (Bart) Taylor and his beloved grandchildren Samantha and Ryan Taylor of Sheridan and John Kincaid of Shepard, MT; his sisters Donna (Jim) Lane of McKinney Texas and Grace (Jim) Lukkes of Columbus, MT; niece Kris Lukkes and nephews Jamie Lane, Chuck Lukkes and David Lukkes. He is also survived by many close friends who were like family and many of his Native American friends and family.
Per Ben’s request he has been cremated and his ashes will be spread at a later time. A celebration of his life will take place on his birthday, December 9, 2018, at 2pm at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
Memorials in honor of Ben may be made to the local Relay for Life Cancer events, American Heart Association or the PRCA Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.