Casey Duane Tibbs was born March 5, 1929, 50 miles northwest of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in a log cabin on the family homestead on the Cheyenne River to John F. and Florence M. (Leggett) Tibbs. He attended school at Orton Flat. At 14 years of age, Casey started riding in rodeos in South Dakota. By 15, he was trailing bucking stock from rodeo to rodeo for Bud Anis and had moved on to nationwide competition.
In 1949, at age 19, Casey became the youngest man ever to win the national saddle bronc-riding crown. Between 1949 and 1955, he won a total of six PRCA saddle bronc-riding championships, a record still unchallenged, plus two all-around cowboy championships and one bareback-riding championship.