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Casey Tibbs, a colorful rodeo rider who won nine world championships from the 1940s to the 1960s and has been credited with popularizing the sport, died of cancer Sunday at the age of 60.

Tibbs, born and raised on a horse ranch about 60 miles northwest of Fort Pierre, proved his toughness on the rodeo circuit, winning a record six world saddle bronco riding championships in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He twice won the association's all-around cowboy title and also won one bareback bronco riding crown.

He was featured on a Life magazine cover in 1951, formed rodeo troupes that traveled to Europe and Japan, wrote and produced the movie "Born to Buck" and appeared as a stuntman in movies and on television. Last August, a statue of Tibbs riding a bucking horse named "Necktie" was dedicated at the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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