Lyle Ducheneaux loved riding, racing horses

Lyle Ducheneaux

Lyle Ducheneaux

Funeral services for Ernest Lyle Ducheneaux, 69, of Eagle Butte, were held Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at the Eagle Butte Auditorium.
Burial was in Mossman Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Lyle passed away Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Ernest Lyle Ducheneaux was born on July 29, 1944, to Tuffy and Mary (Collins) Ducheneaux at the old Cheyenne River Agency. He attended school at the old agency in Stephan and Eagle Butte. He grew up on his parents’ ranch in Promise, where he helped his dad with a rancher’s daily duties. He broke horses for his dad, which led to his desire to ride broncs. He got his first bronc saddle from Jim O’Leary. He would practice on his father’s old mares daily. He would put his saddle on them and pull his own flank.
When he was ready to start rodeoing, he called his brother-in-law, Bob Hagel, and they hit the rodeo trial. They competed in a lot of SDRA rodeos. In the words of Bob Hagel, “It was tough to buck him off.” He watched him cover some well-known broncs from that era such as Big Red, Cedar Pass and Bow Wow. Later on he joined forces with Justin and Roger Lawrence and Larry Mendoza. While on the rodeo trail in Fort Worth, Texas, Lyle, Roger and Larry were a few blocks away the day President Kennedy was shot. Lyle either placed or won quite a few rodeos he entered. His four oldest children remember watching him ride. Lyle helped teach his nephews, young cowboy friends and sons how to ride broncs; Clayton Hagel, Romey Gunville, Tater Ward, Rome Wager, Bill and J.R. Knight, just to name a few.
Lyle met his future wife, Betsy Hunt, at a junior high dance at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte. He and Betty danced to Running Bear. They were married on March 2, 1965, in Promise. They began ranching in Armstrong County shortly after their marriage, where he continued to live and ranch until his death. To their union six children were born, Carlyle, Duffy, Ford, Connie, Sammi and Keni.
Lyle got the itch for horse racing in the mid-1970s. It began with the novelty race (walk, trot, run). He asked his father to borrow his horse named Gambler and entered the race. Lyle won the race that day and from then on he hit the racetracks. He purchased horses from Ernest Hammrich, Dean Hansen, Barry Hutchinson, Kenneth “Chub” Heltzlel, Kenneth Coops and Larry Carlson. His horse Pity Pat, trained by Dean Hansen, went on to win several races on the big-named tracks. His first Indian Relay Team consisted of Old Paint, Bob, and Gambler. This began a whole journey in his life. Big Red, Mello Yellow, Alka-Seltzer, Wind Chaser, Quiet Gift, Norman and Nuisance were the horses that made up his infamous Indian Relay strings for many years. He traveled to the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., and Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyo., yearly to compete, as well as Ft. Yates, N.D., and Faith. But racing in the CRST Fair and Rodeo was the highlight of the year. People loved to watch Lyle’s team and Lanny LaPlante’s team race against each other. Win or lose they sure did put on a show. He won many trophies, blankets and buckles during his racing career.
He took the next step in his life when his grandchildren got old enough to start participating in school sports, school activities, rodeos, etc. At that point his grandchildren were his priority. He never liked to miss anything they were in and if in some circumstances he happened to, he always made it up to them with as much love and attention as he could give the next time he saw them.
Lyle’s door was always open for his family, friends and strangers. When you entered his home you were always offered food or something to drink. His only requirement was if he needed help doing something right then or sometime down the road, you helped. No matter what it was, Lyle was very proud of his family, not just the kids and grandchildren. He always talked about his nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, and his mom and dad.
He loved to laugh and joke with everyone. Unless you were the butt of the joke, they were always pretty funny and he would always remind you of the joke whenever he saw you. No matter what it was, Lyle was always in for a good time. He will be greatly missed.
Lyle is survived by his children, Carlyle and Bobbi Ducheneaux, Duffy Ducheneaux, Connie and Mark Knight, Sammi Ducheneaux and Donnie Farlee, Keni Jo Ducheneaux; the mother of his children, Betsy Ducheneaux; grandkids, Kelsey and Tee Knight, Kyler and Cody Ducheneaux, Lauine and Mackenin Peacock, Hailey and Brock Ducheneaux, Payden, Peterson and Jayda Farlee, Karlee and Chancey Witt-Ducheneaux, Sherley Ducheneaux and Duffy Ducheneaux II; great-grandkids, Rynn Ducheneaux and Kale Ducheneaux; sisters, Mary Jane (Dick) Anderson, Sharon (Duane) Keller, Arlyce (Bill) Wientjes, Bunny Sue (Frankie) Thompson, Debbie (Ross) Lawrence, Audrey (Bob) Hagel, Lila Faye (Ronnie) Long and Janice (Al) Aberle; brother, Tommy (Hilda) Ducheneaux; and his aunt, Edith Burrell.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tuffy and Mary Ducheneaux; son, Ford Ducheneaux; grandson, Stetson Cooper Cavanaugh; three sisters, Delores Ward, Phyllis Gunville and Mary “Butchie” Thompson; brother, Roman Ducheneaux; nieces, Guyla Gunville and Claudine Ducheneaux; nephews, T.J. Ducheneaux and Matt Ducheneaux; and brothers-in-law, Dick Ward, Vincent Thompson and Delbert Lamb.

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