The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale

Miles City Montana has been the home for the World Famous Bucking Horse Sale for the last 68 years. The three day event features a bucking stock auction, rodeo and an all-out celebration of the Western lifestyle.

The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale

Like a lot of traditions, the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale (BHS) was born out of necessity. What do you do when you find yourself with 35 unexpected bucking horses? You host a sale, that’s what.

Photo courtesy of Horizon Marketing Agency.

In 1950, Les Boe of the Miles City Livestock Center held a three-day horse sale upon receiving the rowdy equines as a bonus to his steer order. The sale was a success, drawing cowboys from far and wide who wanted to prove their worth on one of the bucking broncs. The first official Bucking Horse Sale took place in 1951, and the event has been held every year since.

The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale has changed quite a bit over the years—about 100 bucking horses are auctioned off during the event these days and activities such as a trade show, horse racing and an opening night concert have been added to the lineup. The horses are also no longer wild (prohibited since 1971) and are typically bred to be bucking stock or are animals that have a documented defiance towards riders. Today, the BHS, also referred to as “Cowboy Mardi Gras,” is less about selling rodeo stock and more about celebrating the Western heritage of Miles City—famous for its history of quality horses and its enduring cowboy spirit. People enjoy the multi-day event which also features the horse-filled parade through the center of town, the kids mutton bustin’ contest, the Thursday night concert, and the live horse races including the well-loved wild horse race events.

A highlight of the extended weekend is the PRCA Match Bronc Ride which draws the world’s greatest bronc riders including Brody Cress, the Wright brothers, Sage Newman, and Wyatt Casper—just to name a few. The event draws plenty of locals who come to see their favorite rodeo athletes compete and to socialize, as well as visitors from around the world who want a taste of an authentic Wild West experience. Nowhere can you feel more like a cowboy than in Miles City, especially during the Bucking Horse Sale.

Photo courtesy of Horizon Marketing Agency.

Compared to many places in the United States, Montana has hung on to its Wild West beginnings a bit more tightly. People are still working the land to make a living, riding horses and roping cattle. Traditions like the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale offer proof that cowboys still exist. In a world full of high speed internet and autonomous vehicles, there are still folks willing to climb on a bucking horse to see how long they can last.

Perhaps one of Montana’s most alluring aspects is its deep connections with the past. There are plenty of places with beautiful mountain views and good fly fishing, but Montana also has communities that still value the traditional Western lifestyle. Preserving the practices of the past honors the rugged men and women that settled here and also adds to the value of the land where it all began. Montana is as rich with culture as it is with resources, creating an atmosphere like no other.


Photo courtesy of Horizon Marketing Agency.

Tickets and the schedule for the 2023 World Famous Bucking Horse Sale can be found on the event website The event kicks off on Thursday, May 18th with a concert, featuring this year’s headliner Mitchell Tenpenny and includes popular events such as wild horse races, the PRCA bronc ride and the Bucking Horse Sale futurity. Main street of Miles City is closed to traffic and you can take your adult beverage with you as you head to the “Street Dance” at 9:00 PM. While the party at the Bison Bar is still going strong, the event has become much more family friendly in recent years and the kiddos will love the Saturday morning parade down Main Street. For a taste of the West the way it was, and an incredible display of both animals and athletes, the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed to be reliable. Western Ranch Brokers makes no warranties or guarantees as to the completeness or accuracy thereof.
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