December 15, 1952
Seneca, Nebraska cowboy, Jim Sevier got his start in rodeo early when he traveled to rodeos with his uncle, Stan Barent. Stan employed Jim at the age of 9 as a hired hand and had him bull-dogging steers by the 7th grade. At Stan’s, Jim and his brother Tom, practiced practically all the events. Stan eventually got some bucking horses for Jim to practice on. When Jim was 15 he got on his first bull at the Mullen, Nebraska 4th of July rodeo. When things didn’t go well, Uncle Stan told Jim, “Well, guess it’s back to the hay field.” Going around the country welling with his dad, Bus Sevier, Jim got on anything that had some potential to buck. One condition of getting on a practice horse at the Seneca arena, Bus told Jim he wasn’t supposed to buck a horse without an adult. Dean Pearman and Jim bucked the practice horse several times, with Dean pulling the flank, opening the gate and picking up before his dad found out.
In the year, 1971, Jim was the Nebraska High School Rodeo State Champion Saddle Bronc Rider and High School Rodeo Student President. After high school, Jim went on to rodeo for Casper College. It was there, he met Wyoming cowgirl, Jackie Allen, who would soon become his wife. Jim was drafted into the army in 1972 while still attending college. He and Jackie were married just out of basic training. After seven weeks of training again in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, Jim was sent to Germany where Jackie joined him two months later.
Jim was stationed at the Wildflecken Army Base. Hearing about rodeos in Germany on the American Forces Network, Jim and Jackie took off to Nuremberg and the next weekend Jim was entered in the Bull Riding and Bronc Riding. He sent for his bronc saddle and gear bag. Jackie competed in the barrel racing. The couple rodeoed throughout Germany with Jim winning the European Saddle Bronc Championship in 1973 followed by the Bull Riding Championship in 1974. Jim came home to Nebraska after military time served, just 8 days after his daughter, Chessney was born late 1974. After a spring semester of college and more college rodeos, Jim and Jackie started a well service business in Seneca with the winnings they saved vowing that they would always work for themselves. Jim rodeoed with his young family while building his well business. A son, Jesse, was born in 1981. Jim rode saddle broncs and bulls, giving up the bull riding in 1980. At that time, a cowboy would ride amateur or pro but not both. Jim had always aspired to be a professional rodeo athlete so there was no debate.
Although commitment to family and business were his first priorities, Jim traveled the Prairie Circuit and Badlands Circuit rodeos as well as the bigger rodeos like Cheyenne, Houston, Ft Worth and Pendleton. For a few years he also carried a Canadian card. The years traveling and the cowboys with whom he made lifelong friends, were so true to Jim’s nature. It’s hard to imagine him doing things any other way. Although Jim was a great cowboy and athlete, it is his attitude and his willingness to participate and share that makes him memorable.
Jim’s family credits him for a big part of their success in rodeo. He served as an adult director in the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association during the years his kids, Jesse and Chessney participated. He was known to help and give advice to young cowboys on the rough stock end at the rodeos and in his Bronc Riding Schools. With his own kids, Jim was an active part of practices. Being competitive, Jim made it fun and challenging. His daughter Chessney remembers him tying goats and being faster than her. Stepping away from competition was an easy adjustment as Chessney and Jesse started their rodeo careers. He’s been known to say that he enjoyed rodeoing with his kids as much or more than for himself.
Jim has Championship Saddle Bronc Riding buckles from the buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte, Nebraska, 89er Days Rodeo, Lazy E Arena and has won money at Cheyenne Frontier Days, Deadwood and Burwell to name a few.