By Dillon Thomas

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (CBS4) – The 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo event is largely dedicated to rodeo and country music icon, Chris Ledoux. Ledoux, a longtime resident of Wyoming, will be honored posthumously at the 125th annual “Daddy of ‘em All” event with the unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue along Interstate 25.

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When many think of country music and rodeos they think of Cheyenne Frontier Days. However, when rodeo General Chairman Jimmy Dean Siler thinks of Frontier Days, he can’t help but to think of the Wyoming icon.

“We have a world champion bare back rider, and we have a world class entertainer in country music. We are talking about Chris Ledoux,” Siler said.

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Before becoming a music and rodeo icon, Ledoux moved to Wyoming with his military family. Ledoux graduated from Central High in Cheyenne which is only a matter of blocks away from the CFD rodeo grounds.

Ledoux went on to become an award winning musician who often performed among the likes of Garth Brooks. Ledoux was also a champion athlete in rodeo competitions. Ledoux passed away in 2005.

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When considering how to make the 125th CFD “grand,” Siler said honoring Ledoux was a no-brainer.

“The best way to do it in grand style is to honor one of our heroes and favorite people in Wyoming,” Siler told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.

Siler and his team commissioned famed bronze artist D. Michael Thomas to build a larger-than-life statue of Ledoux. The one-and-a-half sized sculpture shows Ledoux riding bareback on a horse.

The sculpture was completed and transported to the CFD grounds where it will be unveiled below the CFD sign along I-25.

“We put it there so everybody can see it,” Siler said. “Every time we see it we get a little more excited.”

Chris Ledoux’s son, Ned, will open for Garth Brooks on Friday the 23rd.

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CBS4’s Dillon Thomas is scheduled to speak with Garth, who will likely share stories about his connection to Ledoux and why he is dedicating his performance to him.

Though Ledoux will never again grace the grounds of Cheyenne Frontier Days, his legacy will live on forever at the fan-favorite event.

“I think he would be very humbled. Chris was an amazing person,” Siler said.

Dillon Thomas