The 2022 Pioneer Horseman Award Recipient is Melvin (Bud) Dorsey.

Melvin (Bud) Dorsey

December 14, 1947 - November 29, 2021

Melvin (Bud) Dennis Dorsey and his twin Brother Lawrence Joseph Dorsey were born in Moose Lake, MN on December 14, 1947, three months after their dad died in a car accident.  Bud and Larry, along with their mother, lived on their grandparents’ farm in Sturgeon Lake.  When Bud and Larry were three years old their mother remarried and moved to Inver Grove Heights, MN.  

Bud was fortunate to have some of the great horsemen of the time as neighbors: Gladys and Roger McCloud, Darrel and Ann Illif, Blackie Speldrick and Dolly and Laverne Banks who taught Bud to ride horse. Throughout the years Bud was involved with horses as a jockey on the bush league tracks, he competed in Chuck Wagon races, he showed halter, reining, and pleasure, as well as games.  During his last years of high school and his first year of college Bud was again fortunate to live with Nancy and Jim Carver as well as George Mueller, Jr. and Miriam Tschida Mueller.

The most important lesson he learned from his mentors named above was, share your knowledge of horses with others.  At the ripe old age of 14 Bud got a job and bought his first horse and started his show career.  The following year, 1962, Bud showed for the first time at the MN State Fair.  In 1964 Bud joined the Trail Riders Saddle Club.  That same year he started his show career at the Washington County Fair, which was then located in Bayport, where Anderson Windows is now located.  Except for 1969 when he was in Viet Nam, Bud has shown at the Washington County Fair every year since.  In 2009 he received an award for special recognition for his 45 years of Participation and Dedication to the Washington County Fair. 

Bud graduated from Simley High School in 1966.  He started his college career that same year.  Bud’s mother, Lucy Thomas Dorsey Jarsak, died in a car accident while he was going to college.  In 1966 he met the love of his life, Cora.  January 1969 Bud left for basic training.  Cora and Bud married June 14, 1969, when he was on leave before leaving for Viet Nam.  Bud was truly grateful for Cora’s family, from day one they always treated him like their brother/son.  Bud was honorably discharged in August 1970.  December 30, 1971, Bud and Cora purchased a home with acreage in Afton, MN.  Bud and Cora have two children, Stephanie Dorsey Promersberger and Richard Dorsey who showed horses with Bud.  Pre cell phones times created a lot of family time in the motorhome traveling to and from several events every weekend.  Bud said it is amazing what you can learn when you listen. 

Bud has competed at the Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, OH, the NBHA World Show in Augusta, GA, and the Barrel Horse Futurities of America in Oklahoma City, OK.  He was a charter member of the National Barrel Horse Association, (NBHA) and was a lifetime member of Trail Riders Saddle Club.  Bud served on the Western Saddle Clubs Association, (WSCA), Judges committee and chaired the WSCA Scholarship Committee.  He was president of Trail Riders Saddle Club more than once over the years and has served as a member of the Board of Directors as well as serving on many Saddle Club committees.  When Cora oversaw entries for the Championship Show in 1982, Bud was her right-hand man.  In 1983 and 1984 when she was co-chairperson of the Championship Show Bud was again there to help her.  Bud was the man, when Cora oversaw the horse show office for five years at the Washington County Fair.  Bud was involved with the Washington County 4-H and the Dakota County 4-H for many years.  He has given numerous clinics to groups throughout MN and WI.  Bud has donated many trophies to 4-H clubs to reuse with new name plates.  In 2012 Bud received an award for showing for 50 years at the Minnesota State Fair.  He truly enjoyed WSCA Games and Barrel races competing with some of his best friends as well as his children and students.

Bud loved to talk and share stories.  Bud was also known as the “electric horseman” with his flashing breast collar on his horse.  Bud rode many good horses over the years winning awards and trophies.  Bud’s beloved horses were Champs Wolf (Buddy), Mystic Desire (Lanky) and the most recent horse he rode was a mare named Vada who belongs to a good friend, Kati Stewart.  Bud treated Vada like the Diva she is.  Bud and Cora were generous horse show parents, hauling their children and many other children and their horses to various shows, rodeos, and barrel races over the past 53 years.  Bud truly enjoyed teaching and sharing his knowledge just as his mentors taught him and encouraged him to do.  He was also known as owner operator of his business, Diamond D Ranch, selling horse tack wholesale and retail.  The saying went, “if Bud did not have it, no one does”.  Bud was proud to hand over the “reins” for the business to his son Richard.  Bud was first and foremost a family man, he loved them and was always thankful for any time he could spend with family and they in turn adored him.  Bud positively adored his grandchildren; they could do no wrong in his eyes.  Cora, Stephanie, and Richard were dedicated to him and were at his side in the hospital holding his hands until the end.

The Friday Washington County Residents horse show was dedicated to Bud.  The family was presented with a bench with Bud’s name and a silhouette of him riding.  It will be out at each future county fair.

Some of the words and phrases from family and friends that have been used to describe Bud are: an inspiration, an institution, generous, selfless and giving, a legend, charismatic, tireless, inspiring, dedicated, amazing, knowledgeable, funny and loving, supportive to family and friends as well as to the horse industry, a mentor to all.

Bud was loved by many and was very much deeply loved by his family and friends.  Happy Trails Bud, until we meet again!

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