Gitty Up's Best Posts

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cowboys Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig fight 'Aliens'

Cowboys Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig fight 'Aliens'

By Bryan Alexander

GREENOUGH, Mont. — When you're in a cowboy movie, you never know where the next attack is is coming from.

As Harrison Ford relaxes on a front porch of a remote resort on a beautiful Montana morning, he is set upon by blood-seeking bugs. His Cowboys & Aliens co-star Daniel Craig leaps into action.

"(Expletive) black mosquitoes!" Craig snarls as he leaps forward to swat the offending critters. Ford is surprised and amused.

"See how he's got my back?" he says with a smile.

VIDEO: Five questions for director Jon Favreau

Ford can certainly count on Craig to watch his back no matter what the attack. But with their Western/sci-fi flick opening today, the stakes are considerably higher than mosquito bites.

This time it's two of Hollywood's biggest names pooling their significant box-office appeal in the hopes of a bonanza. The two take on deadly space invaders in theWild West in a genre-blending concept as simple as theCowboys & Aliens title suggests.

"I like the fact that the title isn't pretending," Craig says. "It's sort of saying, look …"

"Here are the ingredients," Ford adds, finishing the sentence.

"You don't need to dress it up," Craig adds.

There really is no reason to dress up the other essential movie ingredient — Ford, 69, is essentially passing the cool-guy movie torch to Craig, 43.

"These are two of the biggest acting icons of our time, and that's because they are so good at being heroes," says Cowboys co-star Olivia Wilde.

It's Indiana Jones meeting James Bond backed by an impressive array of moviemakers including executive producer Steven Spielberg, producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, as well as director Jon Favreau.

Sitting over an outdoor breakfast in blue jeans and rolled-up shirt sleeves weeks before the movie's release, the two seem natural for the roles. They are both all about purposeful strides, gruff talk and few words, just like their cowboy counterparts. But Ford has not done a Western since 1979's Frisco Kid and has not appeared on-screen on horseback in more than a decade.

As for the Englishman Craig, even he admits he thought he was "a strange choice" to play a Western gunslinger, even if he had "wanted to play a cowboy for as long as I can remember."

Favreau says there was a cowboy learning curve for Craig. "He's James Bond. You don't get much more English than that."

But he says there was something in Craig's famous stare that made him a natural choice for the role.

"It's the look, the strong blue eyes," he says. "It's the gunfighter glare he has. It occurred to me how much he looks like Steve McQueen in The MagnificentSeven."

Besides, Craig had been practicing his gunplay skills since he was a kid.

"I had a toy Winchester. You pump a few rounds, fall over and die. That's the reason I became an actor," he says with a laugh. "I finally got here, though it's taken me 25 years."

Ford was somewhat reluctant to join the film, a notion Favreau chalks up to the sci-fi element. Despite the clear popular appeal of turning graphic novels into films (Cowboys & Aliens came from that source), Ford was wary about going there.

"I just had to convince myself to do a movie where there's a danger of people actually going to see it these days," Ford insists.

Once Ford came around, it marked the beginning of a power team, even if it took the Englishman a while to catch up on the Western basics. But Craig began horseback riding "as early as possible when I got the job" and proved to be a quick study.

Stars played on the plains

"There's nothing like galloping across the plain and riding into a shot and hitting your mark," he says. "For me it was a big deal. Getting on a horse at 7 in the morning and going to work was a joy."

It wasn't all work on the dusty Santa Fe set. The Bond star also enhanced his party-throwing skills in the off hours during the three-month shoot last summer.

"I'd invite people over, and it just kind of worked out," Craig says. "It doesn't always work. Sometimes (parties) fall flat on their face."

Quite the contrary, this time. Craig's frequent soirees at his rented house overlooking a beautiful canyon were catered, and Craig played the consummate host.

The events often went late into the evening as Craig and Favreau strummed ukuleles while others joined in with their own instruments and sang near a bonfire. Afterward, Craig's cowboy partner would help out with the dirty work.

"Harrison was very nice to come over, and he'd help clean up the mess," Craig says.

The two even worked through their fashion choices for the film. Ford, who created a piece of Americana with his Indiana Jones fedora, had the tough task of choosing cowboy headgear.

"You get the hat right, and the rest of it follows," Craig says.

"People chose a hat very carefully," Ford says. "I was concerned. I wanted to get the right hat. Everyone wanted to get the right hat."

Craig's other big choice came with his decision to wear riding chaps, a source of needling from Ford. He teases Craig that everyone is talking about "your (butt)."

Despite the ribbing, Craig says he's still good with the chaps decision.

"I regret things, but not that. The truth of it is, they do the trick, they keep you from getting chafed. They are also strangely comfortable. That's as far as I'm going."

Do more foes lie ahead?

On set, the two shared a banter "which was a constant refrain," Favreau says. "It was always well-meaning, but very spirited."

That connection may have culminated in a moment on-screen when Craig's character, Jake Lonergan, asks Harrison's Woodrow Dolarhyde, "Are you OK, old man?" after a harrowing incident.

Ford claims ignorance of the line, even gruffly insisting, "I didn't hear that."

"It came in ADR (dubbing)," Craig says with a laugh. "Actually, I was just trying to wind Harrison up."

"Well," Ford says, "it is a reality."

Favreau claims the line came at Ford's insistence.

"Harrison is very egoless when it comes to the laugh and the movie," the director says. "That was the emblematic moment of what his and Daniel's relationship was like."

It's a relationship that could certainly continue into other fields beyond alien fighting, should the box office signal approval this weekend.

"I think when you get Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig back-to-back, they can handle pretty much anything thrown at them," Favreau says. "I would be curious to see the movie with zombies, dinosaurs or killer robots."

Certainly the two seem keen to ride again. As Ford prepares to get up to move from his porch perch, he gives as much mush as a tough guy is allowed to give another tough guy.

"I had a good time," he says, looking at Craig.

"Same here," Craig says, looking nearly sheepish.

"I'm determined not to work again unless it's with Daniel," Ford says, smiling.

"OK, good," Craig says. "I want that in writing."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rodeo: Days of '76 keeps building on tradition

Rodeo: Days of '76 keeps building on tradition 
Joe Kavanaugh

That the Deadwood Days of ’76 Rodeo is one of the best in the country has been common knowledge to Black Hills area rodeo fans for years.
For pro rodeo’s governing body, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, that view’s been shared for about as long. The Days of ’76 has been named rodeo of the year on 11 occasions, including the last seven years in succession.
And now, finally, the rodeo’s enduring excellence has been proclaimed and preserved for posterity. The rodeo was induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame earlier this month. 
“We had 53 people go down for the ceremony,” longtime Days of ’76 Rodeo chairman Pat Roberts said. “We have won rodeo of the year 11 times, and that’s absolutely wonderful, but being inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs (Colo.) is a lifetime achievement, and it is going to be there forever. My grandkids and my great-great grandkids will be able to go there and see that we have done something very special here.”
This year’s 89th annual edition should continue that special tradition, as more than 650 of the country’s best cowboys and cowgirls once again return to one of the most scenic rodeo arena in America.
Two-time world champion steer roper Rocky Patterson, who won two go-rounds in Tuesday’s opening steer roping event,  best captured the aura and charm that surrounds Deadwood and its historic rodeo.
“You gotta come to Deadwood,” he said.  “The first thing is that they put up a lot of money and it’s a good rodeo. The climate and the scenery are unbelievable, which is why everybody likes to come up here and kick back. I left my house in Pratt, Kan., yesterday and the temperature was 106, and we’ve had 38 days in a row over 100. So I was really ready to be in Deadwood.”
And come they will. The cream of the crop of the PRCA and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuits includes past world champions, current  event leaders — every 2011 leader will be on-hand — and, of course, the best South Dakota and the Badlands Circuit has to offer.
Virtually every event will feature a who’s who of professional rodeo, starting right out of the chute with bareback riding. Current world leader Will Lowe will match bumpy rides with the likes of Tilden Hooper, Kaycee Field, Steven
Peebles and Clint Cannon. Not to be overlooked is Rapid City’s Scott Montague, who claimed second in last year’s rodeo. Agar cowboy Joe Gunderson will also try to regain a top-15 spot.
Eight of the top 10 steer wrestlers will challenge current world leader and former world champion Luke Branquinho. Among them will be a couple of South Dakota cowboys — Hermosa’s Todd Suhn (currently fifth in the world) and his cousin, Jake Rinehart (Highmore, seventh). They’re each chasing another trip to Las Vegas and December’s lucrative National Finals Rodeo.
In South Dakota’s signature event, saddle bronc, current world champion Cody Wright (Milford, Utah) will try to fight off the challenge of Taos Muncy, a Corona, N.M., cowboy and brother-in-law of Mud Butte rider Cody Taton. He and other South Dakota challengers Chad Ferley (Oelrichs) and Jeff Willert (Belvidere) will be present. Joining them will be 2010 NFR qualifier J.J. Elshere (Quinn), defending champion Cole Elshere (Faith), and Camp Crook’s Jesse Bail, who is just off a big win in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Each performance will close with bull riding. The list of contestants coming in this year should keep the stands packed until the very last ride, as nine of the top 10 bull riders will be in action. Three-time defending champion J.W. Harris (Mullin, Texas) leads the least of riders chasing current leader Shane Proctor (Grand Coulee, Wash).
In WPRA barrel racing, a couple of South Dakota cowgirl legends, Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs and Jill Moody of Letcher, return to protect the home turf.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Patsy Cline's Restored House Opening in Va

Patsy Cline's Restored House Opening in Va

Patsy Cline fans curious about the early days of her brief but highly acclaimed country music career will finally be able to do more than just drive by her old house in Winchester and snap a picture.

The Patsy Cline Historic House will open Aug. 2 as a memorial to the singer who recorded such classics as "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces" before dying in a plane crash in 1963. Visitors will be able to step through the door of 608 S. Kent St. and back in time some six decades for a glimpse of how Virginia "Ginny" Patterson Hensley lived from her mid-teens to mid-20s, as she emerged from small-town obscurity to become one of music's most enduring and influential superstars.

"The fact that her music seems timeless brings a whole new group in every generation that keeps her alive," said Cline's daughter, Julie Fudge of Nashville. "Her career was a small amount of years, and she had lots of accolades, but I don't think she imagined the things that would come after she died."

Cline's husband, Charlie Dick of Nashville, said Patsy's premature death at age 30 and the question of how much more she might have accomplished is "part of the mystique" that continues to fuel interest in her life and career. But Cline's sophisticated, genre-defying voice also explains her iconic status, he said.

"Her voice was the first of that type in country music," Dick said, noting its appeal to a broader audience than hardcore country fans.

In fact, Cline biographer Douglas Gomery said many of Cline's hit records made both the country and pop charts.

"It's really complex music," said Gomery, a retired University of Maryland media studies professor, resident scholar at the Library of American Broadcasting and author of "Patsy Cline: The Making of an Icon."

For decades, Cline's fans have had to satisfy their curiosity about her early years in Winchester by cruising past her once-dilapidated former home on Kent Street, dropping by the drugstore where she worked as a teenage soda jerk, and paying homage at her gravesite just outside the Shenandoah Valley city of 26,000 that is known for apples and Civil War sites.

The public's ongoing fascination with the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame prompted a group of Winchester residents to establish a nonprofit corporation, Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc., which purchased and renovated the home. Cline moved to the house with her mother and two siblings in November 1948, the year after her parents split up. She lived there until June 1957, except for a few years during her first marriage to Gerald Cline. Her mother, Hilda Hensley, rented at first but later bought the home.

Cline was living in the tiny two-story frame house when she signed her first record deal, made her Grand Ole Opry debut and won Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts television competition — a sort of '50s version of American Idol — by singing "Walkin' After Midnight," which became her first hit record.

"There's no museum for her, so this is the actual place that she lived the longest in her short life," said Gomery, who also is Celebrating Patsy Cline's historian. "She really made the transition from amateur singer to professional singer when she lived there."

Said Fudge: "I think when you go into the house, you will kind of feel like this is a snapshot of what it would have been like to visit when Mom lived there."

What visitors will see is a home that was typical for families of modest means during that era: small rooms, low ceilings, scaled-down furniture and very little storage space. Celebrating Patsy Cline spent about $100,000 renovating the house and equipping it with appliances and furniture intended to replicate the way the home looked when the singer lived there. Only a few items are original.

The first stop is the living room — a compact space with gleaming, refinished pine floors that Ron Hottle, president of Celebrating Patsy Cline, said predate the Civil War. The house originally was an early-1800s log cabin, and some of the original logs are exposed under Plexiglas next to the front door.

Visitors may notice one of the few nods to modern building codes: a wheelchair ramp into the living area. Central heating and air also was added, Hottle said.

Decor was kept to a minimum to allow room for visitors: a floral-print sofa with lace doilies, an end table holding a turquoise lamp and black rotary-dial telephone and ashtray, a small chair flanked by a rack of vintage magazines, a 1951 television, family photos and an 8-by-10 of Cline in one of her cowgirl outfits on the fireplace mantel.

In the dining room, visitors will see an old Singer sewing machine like the one her mother used to make a living as a seamstress, and to make costumes similar to one displayed on a mannequin a few feet away. Hottle said some of Cline's original costumes, still faintly smelling of the cigarette smoke that hung in the 1950s honky-tonk air, are in climate-controlled storage for display in a museum that Celebrating Patsy Cline hopes to eventually open elsewhere in Winchester.

Adjacent to the dining room is a galley-style kitchen that was added when Cline lived there. Originally a porch, the room is equipped with '50s appliances and basic white cabinets packed with souvenirs that will be available for purchase — coffee mugs, assorted trinkets, videos and Gomery's book.

Upstairs is the lone bedroom that was shared by all four family members. Pat Brannon, Cline's cousin, remembers the sleeping arrangements: Patsy in the twin bed closest to the door, her mother and younger sister in a double bed on the other side of an apple-crate nightstand, and her little brother in another single bed tucked into the corner. Two tiny closets and a four-drawer dresser — one drawer for each family member — provided all the storage space the family needed.

"People just didn't have a lot of clothes back then like they do now," Brannon said.

Brannon, who spent considerable time in the house as a child, said the restoration accurately portrays 608 S. Kent St. as she remembers it. She also said it brings back personal memories of helping out around the house, bringing in firewood and watching her Aunt Hilda on the Singer, working the treadle as the bobbin spun out thread for one of Patsy's fringed cowgirl outfits.

Hottle said many of the 20 docents who will conduct tours of the house have personal memories of Cline to share. Although those tours will begin Aug. 2, the official ribbon-cutting will not be until Labor Day weekend, when the Patsy Cline Fan Club has its annual get-together.


If You Go...

PATSY CLINE HISTORIC HOUSE: 608 S. Kent St., Winchester, Va.; , 540-662-5555. Tour hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Adults, $6, seniors over 60 and children under 18, $5; children under 10 and military with ID, free.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little Lambs, Not the Sheep, Get Early Lessons in the Rodeo Life

Little Lambs, Not the Sheep, Get Early Lessons in the Rodeo Life

AURORA, Colo. — Kaden Bustamante tottered out of the rodeo arena after the brief, rough ride he had endured on a careening mount landed him face down in the dirt. He spit dust from his mouth and tried to stanch the blood that had begun to pour from his nose.

Then he wailed for his mother. Kaden is 3; this was his first time riding a galloping sheep.
Mutton busting, as the sport is known, is the pint-size equivalent of competitive bull riding. Children cling to the backs of sheep, and generally speaking, whoever stays on the longest wins. But just as in bull and bronco riding, even the most talented rider ends up on the arena floor.
Playing make-believe rodeo with sheep has long been a pastime of rambunctious rural children. But the sport has begun to move from horseplay, and the occasional rodeo halftime show, to wider, sometimes suburban, audiences and competitors, toward becoming a codified sport with its own gear and championships.
Kaden was among the 20 or so children, most 3 to 6 years old, who competed during a mutton-busting event put on by Wool Riders Only at the Arapahoe County Fair here in Aurora, a suburb of Denver. Wool Riders Only is the sheep-riding affiliate of a company, Tommy G. Productions, that produces events like bull riding competitions and demolition derbies.
“I think it builds character,” said Meredith Templin, a registered nurse whose son, J. T., 6, had begged to compete again after finishing second out of about 27 children at last year’s Arapahoe fair. She lamented “this age where we sanitize our kids’ hands every 30 seconds.”
“I think that same mentality of parents being overprotective is the same as not wanting them to experience failure,” she said.
J. T. is small for his age, Ms. Templin said. Successfully riding sheep “did so much for his little ego. He was so proud of himself,” she said. This year he came off quickly and took a hoof to the groin. He dusted himself off and came back for a second ride later that day.
“We are teaching our kids that yes, you are going to fall. You can lose, too, and that can mean something,” Ms. Templin said.
Kaden’s older brother, Logan, 6, competed last year and returned to the fair “to rematch my enemy,” he said. “The sheep.”
But it seemed the sheep was too daunting an adversary. As he was about to mount up, Logan’s chin trembled; he bolted into mother’s arms.
The sport’s popularity seems based in sentiments like Templin’s — a rejection of the trend of bubble-wrapping childhood — and a move toward embracing traditional, rough-and-tumble Western culture, according to interviews with participants.
No data exists for how many children participate nationally, but there are several associations that feature the sport, like the National Junior Bullriders Association, most as a steppingstone to competitive rodeo.
Tommy G. Productions offers the sport to suburban children, as well, and in 2005 expanded from one event at the Colorado State Fair to 16 stops from Dallas to Las Vegas, and a “World Finals,” in Fresno, Calif. Some of the approximately 125 cross-bred Suffolk and Columbia sheep make the tour in a custom, double-decker trailer.
At the Arapahoe County Fair, more than 30 children rode in one day; Wool Riders Only estimates that this summer, 8,000 children will ride — and fall off— its sheep.
“It’s scary to get on a live animal and ride down an arena,” said Lisa Lawson, the director of operations for Tommy G. Productions. “When they do it, they feel like they are invincible.”
Not all feel that way. Avery Martinez, 7, shook and cried after getting a face full of arena dirt at the Arapahoe fair. But her sister, Jordan, 5, hung on to her woolly mount for 2.79 seconds, even when it flipped over.
Even wearing helmets with face cages and protective vests, children do sustain injuries, Ms. Lawson said, usually of the schoolyard variety: scrapes, bruises and the occasional bloody nose. Parents must sign a waiver acknowledging the danger. The sheep sometimes sprain limbs, Ms. Lawson said.
In an age of rubber-covered playgrounds, a sport in which a child can have 150 pounds of sheep roll over him defies expectations. That it is gaining in popularity defies comprehension, at least to some people.
“Growing up on the East Coast, you don’t see kids in any kind of danger, ever, and these parents are purposefully putting their kids on these crazy little sheep,” said Stacey Berry, 25, a Massachusetts native who is spending the summer in Jackson, Wyo., and who saw her first mutton-busting event this summer.
“It looks cute; it’s a fun idea,” she said. “But I think it definitely borders on child abuse.”
Mutton-busting regulars reject the analysis.
“It’s not that we’re out there to put our kids out there to get hurt,” said Amy Wilson, 37, who helps run the Jackson Hole Rodeo. Her husband’s family added mutton busting to the rodeo when they took it over a few years ago. “It’s probably just like in the cities,” Ms. Wilson said. “Just like a kid going out for basketball and getting hurt playing basketball, or going out for football and getting hurt playing football.”
Even though her son Tipton, 7, broke an ankle at age 5 when a bolting sheep left him hanging from a gate by one leg when he was practicing at home, he still competes frequently.
One day this month in Jackson, a 2-foot-high cowboy in sky-blue-fringed chaps careened out of the chute, somersaulted off the sheep and rose immediately, dust-covered, pumping tiny fists to wild applause.
At the Wool Riders Only in Aurora a week later, however, would-be riders were far from exultant. Handlers shoved bleating animals into the sheep-size steel chute and hoisted children onto their mounts.
The air in the holding pen was at times as soaked with sobs as the first day of kindergarten. The more suburban a competition, the more tears, said Randy DiSanti, the event’s announcer.
After Lachlan Murphy had a winning ride of 4.89 seconds that day in Aurora, all he could think about was the shiny medallion around his neck. He planned to come back to compete in the weekend championship, even though his sheep had scraped him off on the arena’s metal fence — his mother, Shannon Murphy, said it was her worst fear.
But Lachlan was as staunch as a seasoned cowboy.
“It’s just a small sheep,” he said, clutching his prize. “I just care that I won.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gate closes on 101st California Rodeo Salinas

Gate closes on 101st California Rodeo Salinas
Oakdale's Ryle Smith takes All-Around cowboy title at Salinas arena

The second hundred years of the California Rodeo Salinas picked up where the first hundred left off as the professional cowboys rode out of town following Sunday's final day of year No. 101.

Three mostly windy, foggy and chilly days and nights ended with a sunny blue sky in the short-round of the rodeo at the Salinas Sports Complex where riders and ropers who turned in the top 12 scores and times from the previous three days competed for the big bucks and prized buckles.

Ryle Smith, a tie-down (calf roping) and steer wrestler from Oakdale was the All-Around Cowboy champion.

The feature event of the four-day rodeo was captured by bull rider A.J. Hamre. He followed an 83 in the long round with an 87 in Sunday's short round for a winning score of 170.

The prize money is nice — anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 — but Hamre, 30, seemed just as excited to know he is now the proud owner of a California Rodeo Salinas belt buckle.

"I'm going to wear it every day," Hamre said. "That's a highly coveted buckle. Everybody in this business wants one — including myself."

It was a rewarding end to what has been a rough and tough week for the bull rider from Chico.

"I rode in Salt Lake City and Nampa, but it wasn't any good back there," Hamre said. "This will make up for it."

Adding to Hamre's satisfaction was the fact that the bull he rode to victory Sunday — Due North — bucked him off earlier this year.

"I really had it set in my mind I wanted to get revenge," he said.

Only four of the 11 bull riders lasted the mandatory eight seconds Sunday.

Among those who were tossed was Clayton Foltyn, who was trying to become the first of a father-son combination to win a bull riding title here — his dad won it in 1985 — and Corey Navarre, who brought the top score into the final round at 84.

Shane Proctor, of Grand Coulee, Wash., ranked No. 1 in the world, placed second at 168; Nick Sartor of Mira Loma took third at 164.
Saddle bronc

At the rate things are going Wade Sundell might be made an honorary Wright brother.

"I think he'd rather be Wade Sundell," said Cody Wright, ranked No. 2 in the world with winnings of more than $70,000.

Excuse Sundell if he thought he was a Wright, considering three of the seven brothers were in Sunday's short round.

Four of the seven Wright brothers competed in the Salinas rodeo with Jake, Jesse and Cody all reaching the final round.

And as it turned out, Sundell tied with Cody Wright for the championship with a two-ride total of 168.

"What are they going to do now, cut the buckle in half?" Sundell joked. Jake Wright took third at 165.

About 24 hours earlier Sundell won the Nampa, Idaho, saddle bronc title, beating out runner-up Cody Wright in the process.

Kayee Feild, whose father Lewis Feild is in the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association Hall of Fame — he was a three-time All-Around and two-time bareback world champion — kept the familytradition going strong with a winning ride in bareback.

Feild, of Payson, Utah, began the day tied for the lead with former world champion Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., with a score of 83.

Combined with his short-round score of 85, Feild won the event with a 168 — three points better than Mote and Matt Bright, who tied for second at 165.

"This is a tough rodeo to win," said Feild. "There are a lot of good riders here."
Timed events

Dane Hanna of Berthold, N.D., won the steer wrestling title with an aggregate time of 21.80 seconds. Olin Hannah of Malad, Id., was second at 22.60.

In team roping, the duo of Jay Adams and Randon Adams of Logandale, Nev., had a winning aggregate clocking of 43.40 seconds.

The tie-down champion was Cimarron Boardman of Stephenville, Tex, at 31.8 seconds.

Christina Richman of Glendora defended her California Rodeo Salinas crown in barrel racing, beating five-time Salinas champion Sherry Cervi of Marana, Ariz. — 63.77 seconds to 63.96 seconds.

Evan Allard was the freestyle bull fighting champion.

Friday, July 22, 2011

20-year-old crowned Miss California Rodeo

20-year-old crowned Miss California Rodeo


With tears streaming down her face, 20-year-old Kendra Brennan mixed joy and surprise at winning the 2011 Miss California Rodeo Salinas.

Brennan was joyful that she will represent a century-old tradition during the next year, but humble in that she won the crown against what she described as a very talented group of competitors.

"It was such a great group of girls," Brennan said, shortly after being crowned Thursday night. "Everyone was great. We all had to stay on top of our game."

Leah Dawn Herron as the first runner up followed by Alyssa Abercrombie.

Before this year's Miss Rodeo was announced, the five contestants along with Brittany Voss, last year's Miss California Rodeo Salinas, were part of the Grand Entry — the opening parade of horses that promenade across the track at the Salinas Sports Complex.

The opening parade included the Monterey Defense Language Institute Color Guard, the pageant of flags, Rodeo sponsors, the Herencia Mexicana charro association and California Rodeo Salinas President Craig Andres.

U.S. flag holders on horses dashed across the arena right before Corey Ross sang thenational anthem. People in the partially filled stands craned their necks as doves were released into the sky during the ending of the national anthem.

The newly crowned Miss California Rodeo Salinas wore a pink, long-sleeved blouse, white sash, white Wrangler jeans, cowgirl hat and boots. Her huge, gleaming earrings were a reflection of her smile.

"Everyone looks up to the Rodeo," said Brennan after the gold-and-silver tiara was placed atop her hat. "I can't believe I made it. But I'm here and I will represent one of the best Rodeos. It's an honor. This means so much."

As Miss California Rodeo, Brennan will be the Salinas ambassador of a 101 year-old Rodeo tradition.

"The contest is a tradition that began in 1926 when a young woman was crowned to represent the Rodeo," said Laurie La Velle, Miss California Rodeo Salinas chairwoman.

In addition to a gold-and-silver tiara, Brennan received a $2,500 scholarship and a two-horse trailer with the logo of next year's Rodeo.

The drama of the contest built during the past two days as each participant worked toward impressing judges in four scored categories: horsemanship, personality and appearance and scholarship.

"My best performance was in horsemanship," Brennan said. "I've grown up riding horses and was able to run my horse and the draw horse as well."

The horsemanship contest judged rail work, horsemanship pattern on the contestants' horses and draw horses — random horses assigned to each contestant — dismounting and mounting, and a presentation run.

Sherri Brennan hugged her daughter who shed tears of joy.

"I'm ecstatic," Sherri Brennan said. "I'm so proud of her. Her dad is so proud of her. He's on the phone with me and wishes he could have been here. He's at the National Finals for high school rodeo with my 16-year-old son Nolan in Wyoming."

Brennan was not the only one in tears. Her good friend from Sonora, Melissa Moore, shed a few herself.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that Kendra won," Moore said. "She studies hard and she rides hard. We're all so proud of her."

This morning Brennan will attend an awards brunch where individual category awards will be presented. And for the next year she will be the new representative of a tradition, an American heritage that attracts thousands.

There was little doubt that an impressive crowd turned out to watch Brennan's crowning and the official beginning of the Rodeo.

"Last year was the Rodeo's anniversary celebration so we thought more people were willing to make the trip. We decided to make the 2009 Rodeo as our benchmark for attendance," said marketing manager Mandy Linquist.

Organizers were surprised that presale tickets the morning of the opening show this year surpassed the amount of presale tickets sold in 2009 on the same morning. Presale ticket sales the morning of the opening show this year were down by about 600 tickets from 2010's 100th anniversary year.

"We're optimistic that we will at least be even in attendance this year as compared to last year or better," Linquist said.

If Wednesday's Professional Bull Riding attendance was an indicator of things to come, organizers should be pleased. It was up 17.7 percent this year as compared to last year — 7,972 in 2011, compared with 6,775 in 2010.

With the Rodeo just getting underway Thursday, there is more than enough optimism floating around the Rodeo grounds.

"I'm excited about this weekend," Brennan said. "I'll be representing Salinas and will contribute to keeping the Rodeo tradition and heritage alive."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

50 airmen to depart for 'Rodeo'

From Joint Base Charleston
More than 50 Airmen from Joint Base Charleston will be departing for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Friday as part of the JB CHS Rodeo team during a send-off ceremony for Air Mobility Rodeo 2011, which is sponsored by Air Mobility Command and set to take place July 24 to 29.
The members of the JB CHS team come from both the 628th Air Base Wing and 437th Airlift Wing and consist of the competitors, air crew, air-drop inspectors, Airmen from the maintenance and aerial port squadrons as well as umpires and JB CHS civic leaders.
Rodeo is a readiness competition that "focuses on improving our worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities," AMC officials said. More than 150 teams and 3,000 people from the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and allied nations are expected to participate.
"I think we have an excellent chance of bringing home a trophy," said Lt. Col. Brady Caldwell, 437th Airlift Wing Rodeo Team chief. "The entire team is excited about the chance to show off their skills and the opportunity to represent Team Charleston and the entire Lowcountry."
History shows that Rodeo began in October 1956. At that time, 13 troop carrier wings of the Continental Air Command, the Air Force Reserve Command's predecessor, sent crews to participate in a "Reserve Troop Carrier Rodeo" at Bakalar Air Force Base, Ind. The first airdrop competition for units of the active-duty force occurred in April 1962, when the Military Air Transport Service held a MATS-wide Rodeo at Scott AFB, Ill.
The 1962 Rodeo competition was a combat skills competition designed to develop and improve techniques and procedures while enhancing air mobility operations, and promoting esprit de corps.
In 1979, Rodeo was expanded to include international air mobility partners.
"Rodeo tests the flight and ground skills of aircrews as well as the related skills of special tactics, security forces, aerial port operations, aeromedical evacuation, and maintenance team members," the competition fact sheet states. "It also provides valuable joint and combined training for all participants."
The last Rodeo competition took place in July 2009 at McChord Air Force Base. For more information, see the Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 fact sheet at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Action gets under way at Idaho Stampede rodeo

Action gets under way at Idaho Stampede rodeo


Brian Bain of Culver, Ore., had the top score in the Bareback Bronc Riding competition Tuesday with 83 points aboard Blood Bath.

Through Sunday, Bain was ranked No. 12 overall in the Pro Rodeo standings with earnings of $34,462. He finished the 2010 season ranked No. 45.

The tandem of Brandon Beers (Powell Butte, Ore.) and Jim Ross Cooper (Monument, N.M.) tallied the top time in Tuesday night’s Team Roping event with an official time of 4.4 seconds.

Beers is the son of Mike Beers, who teamed to win a national championship in 1984 alongside Caldwell native Dee Pickett in Team Roping.

Reigning Stampede Barrel Racing champion and three-time national champion (1995, 1999 2010) Sherry Cervi of Marana, Ariz., recorded a time of 16.01 seconds, which ranked seventh. Through Sunday, Cervi was ranked in the top five in winnings with $60,128.

The only Idaho cowboy to compete Tuesday night was Olin Hannum of Malad. His Steer Wrestling time of 4.1 seconds was tied for fourth with Ethen Thouvenell of Napa, Calif.

The second go-round for Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Tie Down Roping was in progress at press time.


Snake River Stampede fans have a chance this week to see some of the top riders in the country, including Professional Rodeo money leaders Taos Muncy and Shane Proctor. Here is a quick look at the two:



EVENT: Saddle Bronc

BIO: Muncy has won nine events through July 17th earning $75,888. In 2010 the 24-year old finished 8th in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and finished 9th in the 2010 World Standings. He is one of three riders (Ty Murray 1989, Matt Austin 2005) to win the College National Finals rodeo and the world championship (2007) in the same year. Muncy had an 81-point ride aboard Fade Away on Tuesday night and is the current leader.


RESIDENCE: Mooresville, N.C.

EVENT: Bull Riding

BIO: Through Tuesday, Proctor has won nine events this year, totaling $102,178. He finished the 2010 season ranked No. 23 in the world. In 2008, he won the “Toughest Cowboy” competition, a reality television series where he took home $35,000 and 36-plus acres of land in Pueblo, Colo. He is one of six top-20 money leaders scheduled to compete in Bull Riding at the Stampede.

All text by Ty Hawkins

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rodeo prepares for 101st year

Rodeo prepares for 101st year

This is year No. 101 of the California Rodeo Salinas, or 90 years more than the Pro Bull Riders tour has been coming to town.

The PBR's Touring Pro Division — regarded as the minor leagues of the bull riding-only circuit — makes its 11th appearance in Salinas on Wednesday to make sure the rodeo gets off to a wild bucking and bouncing start.

The four-day California Rodeo Salinas — that includes not only bull riders but saddle bronc and bareback riders as well as team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing — takes over the Salinas Sports Complex on Thursday.

The first of 40 bull riders is expected to come flailing out of the Salinas Sports Complex chutes at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Even though many of the Touring Pro Division riders are trying to work their way up to the more lucrative Built Ford Tough Series — the major leagues of bull riding — several of those competing here Wednesday have already secured spots in the BFTS to go along with world-class credentials.

One such rider is Australian Brendon Clark, who now lives in Hollister and has become something of a regular at the Salinas PBR event.

Clark, 30, a 12-year veteran, was the hottest bull rider on the planet when he arrived in Salinas last year. He had won a record four straight PBR events and was trying for a fifth. His streak ended when he was tossed off his bull about halfway through his required eight-second ride.

Clark, who has a PBR event named after him in Australia -- he won it earlier this month -- is a seven-time World Finals qualifier who will have another milestone moment in Salinas this week. He'll make his first bull ride as a married man.

Clark was married Saturday and is expected to have a large group of fans in the stands Wednesday night.

Clark won't be the only Aussie in the field. Also here is Ned Cross, the 2008 AustralianNational champion.

Only one of the previous 10 riders to win at Salinas is back this year. Mike Lee, the first to win both the BFTS World Finals and the BFTS Million Dollar World Championship in the same year (2004), won here in 2006 with a score of 181.5 ì the second highest by any Salinas winner.

Lee was also the 2004 world champion and the 2008 Calgary Stampede winner. His career earnings are close to $3 million.

The only local rider here is Josh Daries, 22, of Prunedale and a graduate of North Monterey County High School.

Also scheduled to ride in Salinas is Kasey Hayes, 25, one of the few who won in his BFTS debut (2006). He has since won at least once in each of his first three years on the tour and qualified for the World Finals in 2007 and 2008.

Another up-and-comer in the field is Harve Stewart, 23. He won the Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals and was taught to ride by the legendary Ty Murray.

Pistol Robinson is another newcomer who was runner-up for the PBR Rookie of the Year in 2010 by recording six Top 10 finishes.

Tony Mendes has been here before and he's back again. He's probably worth watching before and after his ride. The 33-year-old has earned the nickname "Wild Man'' for his high-energy personality that has him cheering on riders from the chutes when he's not riding himself.

Three of the top 10 Touring Pro Division riders will also be part of Wednesday's action. Jared Farley ranks No. 3, Rocky McDonald No. 7 and Justin Koon No. 9.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo rides high despite intense heat

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo rides high despite intense heat

Committee chairman Miskimins says annual rodeo was big success.
By: Chris Huber

he sun set on the 41st annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Sunday after a week packed with events.
The four PRCA rodeo performances brought people out to watch the action.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Committee chairmen Jim Miskimins thought this year’s rodeo was a huge success.

“We have been very pleased with the rodeo; the contestants that came in this year, they have put on a great show,” said Miskimins.

Miskimins was extremely happy with the entertainment brought this year as well.

“The entertainers that we hired have promoted the rodeo and our community as well as we could have ever asked for or dreamed of,” he said.

High temperatures and humidity plagued most of the performances. Miskimins the weather most likely had an effect on attendance.

“The Saturday night crowd was hurt a little bit by the heat but the folks that did come saw one of the best shows that could have happened,” Miskimins said.

Besides the rodeo action, the rodeo parade on Saturday morning was a highlight of the weekend’s events, organizers said.

The parade, which traveled south down Main Street and then back north on Kimball Street, featured just under 100 entries. Around 10,000 people lined the streets, according to Stan Peterson rodeo committee parade chairmen.

Despite temperatures in the 90s Saturday, Peterson said the turnout was very good.
“It was comparable to most years so that was a very great thing,” he said.

Floats competed in 10 categories with this year’s theme being “Come to the Cowboy Carnival.”
Prizes were given to first-, second- and third-place finishers in each category.

The all-around parade winner was Iverson Chrysler of Mitchell.

Other winners included: Best Use of Theme, CorTrust Bank; Youth, Mitchell Realty; Antique, the Armour Fire Department; Horse Drawn, Hansen Wagon and Wheel; Humorous, Dakota Salvage; Commercial, Avera Queen of Peace; Shrine, Lewis and Clark Shrine Club; Retail, Jackpot Gamblin’; and Equestrian, Ethan Trail Riders.

The chili cook-off and Texaco Country Music Showdown were held Sunday afternoon at the Rodeo Grounds as people braved the heat in search of some good food and traditional music.
In the chili cook-off featured 19 camps preparing their best recipes in hopes of impressing the judges.
Zimmer Caulking took home first place, followed by The Brig in second and Jake’s Lounge and Darrin’s Market in third.

The people’s choice award winner was Klockwerks and best camp went to Graphic Packaging.
Rodeo chili cook-off chairmen Wade Greenwood said the estimated attendance was between 1,000 and 1,200 people.

“It doesn’t seem like the heat held people back from coming out, we were pretty busy all day,” Greenwood said.

In the Texaco Country Music Showdown eight contestants belted out their favorite country tunes in hopes of moving on to the state, regional and national competitions, with the winner getting $100,000.
Each singer or band was given two songs to try to impress the judges with their musical talent.
The Kayla Tingle Band from Brookings and Aberdeen took home first place and will move on to the state competition in a site to be determined.

Hadley Moody took second and Kelsey Doll was third.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Should cowboys wear helmets?

Should cowboys wear helmets?

By Sean Myers
CALGARY — Bull rider Ty Pozzobon won’t compete without his head tucked safely into a helmet and his face behind a cage.

At 19, he’s already had a couple concussions competing in what a new University of Calgary study calls the most dangerous event in rodeo, and he’s not taking any chances at losing a payday.

The young bull rider predicts helmets in the rodeo ring will soon replace cowboy hats as the trend toward safer rides gains momentum.

“It won’t be long before everyone will be wearing helmets,” said Mr. Pozzobon of Merritt, B.C. “It doesn’t hurt anything and it’s only going to make your career last longer.

“If you’re put out with a concussion, you’re only losing money.”

A new study looking at catastrophic injuries — defined as life changing or fatal — during a 20-year period shows there were 21 deaths in rodeo between 1989 and 2009 in Canada and the United States of which bull riding accounts for 11. The number rises to 16 when boys’ steer wrestling and junior bull riding are included (both youth competitions lead to bull riding which requires professional entrants to be 18).

In the five rodeo deaths where the cause was a head injury, not one of the fatally wounded competitors was wearing a helmet.

“We can safely say no one wearing a helmet was killed due to head injuries in this time frame,” said Dale Butterwick a University of Calgary associate professor of kinesiology and co-author of the Catastrophic Injury Registry.

He noted that some of the deaths involved competitors without head gear who were first knocked out before the animal landed on their chests.

“It’s possible helmets could’ve prevented even more deaths if those people hadn’t been knocked out,” said Prof. Butterwick.

Not all the head injury related deaths were bull riders. Two were barrel racers who struck their heads on a piece of infrastructure and one was a saddle bronc rider who was kicked in the head.

In Canada, helmets are mandatory for boys competing in steer riding.

Prof. Butterwick said the adult bull riders are naturally moving toward wearing protective head gear.

In the Professional Bull Riding circuit, 40 to 55% of the competitors are now wearing helmets on any given week, he said.

“I don’t think we’ll have to be bad guys here,” said Prof. Butterwick. “There seems to be more and more helmets being worn all the time. The kids have been riding with them and they’re comfortable. Ten years from now it will be very very rare not to see a helmet.”

Prof. Butterwick’s registry was published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine in May.

The work was begun in 2006 and he said the most accurate data is from 2007-2009 which shows a catastrophic injury rate of 19.81 per 100,000. The rate from 1989 to 2009 was 9.45 per 100,000 but Prof. Butterwick said that may be misleading.

He said the some of earlier data was collected from surveys asking participants to remember injuries from several years prior and some incidents were likely missed.

Another three-year study is underway which he will compare with the 2007-2009 numbers.

Prof. Butterwick hopes one finding will lead to the development of better equipment. He said the registry shows that protective vests seem to have little impact on reducing thoracic compression fatalities that happen when the animal lands on the competitors upper body.

“It tells me the vest could be improved,” said Prof. Butterwick. “What if the vest was better, could some of those guys survived?

“It says we’ve got some work to do.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fox Valley teens eye national rodeo titles in Wyoming

Fox Valley teens eye national rodeo titles in Wyoming

Dust-covered, leather cowboy boots sporting a special sheen borne from hard use rest in the entrance to Brent Miller's home on School Road.

Two pairs of spotless blue jeans still carrying price tags and the manufacturer's label hang on the back of a living room chair.

Miller seems uncomfortable without the boots and his favorite white cowboy hat as he sits on the couch with Kelsey Ham discussing their 900-mile, 19-hour trip with their families to the 63rd Annual NationalHigh School Finals Rodeo next week in Gillette, Wyo.

Miller, 17, a senior at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, and Ham, 18, who lives in the Town of Center and recently graduated from Seymour High School, will take a year's worth of rodeo experience to Wyoming in hope of earning top honors in a sport where champions are decided in less than 25 seconds of intense competition.

Miller and Ham will join more than 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia in the world's largest rodeo where they will compete in team roping.

"You are there with the best of the best and you know you are one of them," Miller said.

Team roping pits a pair of riders and their horses against a steer weighing about 450 pounds. The riders' goal is to quickly stop and control the steers like cowboys used to do a century ago to manage cattle on ranches.

"You have a header and a heeler. Kelsey and I are heelers," Miller said.

When the steer is released from a chute, the header throws a rope to catch the animal's horns or head. Meanwhile, the heeler throws a rope and tries to lay it down in front of the steer so its back feet step into the loop.

The header and heeler pull their ropes taut, stopping the steer in its tracks.

"You are happy like you wouldn't believe when your ropes are tight," Miller said.

Professional teams can stop a steer in three or four seconds. At the high school level, seven seconds is considered an excellent run.

Teams get two runs to make it to a rodeo's final round and an additional run to earn their total points for the competition.

Team roping is the rodeo's only coed competition, where girls' teams compete against boys and some boys and girls team up to compete.

Miller's longtime partner is Colton Bound of Deerfield in Dane County. Ham's header is Bobbi Wardell of Highland in Iowa County.

"You need to practice a lot, so you just have to plan to get together," Ham said.

This will be Ham's second trip to the high school nationals. In 2010, she competed in pole bending, a girls-only sport at the nationals where a rider and her horse twist and turn around a series of six poles implanted in the ground.

This time Ham will compete in a sport familiar to her rodeo- veteran father, Rich.

"My dad was a college champion heeler. He competed in and won the College National Finals Rodeo in 1982," Ham said.

In fact, Ham and Miller's parents are all veteran rodeo performers. Ham's mother, Cindy, was a barrel racer and is a former member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association.

Miller's parents, Dave and Annette Miller, are experienced team ropers.

Miller began competitive heeling when he was 10, while accompanying his parents on rodeo trips. Ham got her first roping saddle when she was 9 years old.

"I learned to swing a rope when I was 3 or 4 years old. I've been riding a horse for that long, too," Ham said.

In addition to possibly earning the title of national champion, competitors are vying for more than $200,000 in prize money and $350,000 in college scholarships.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

American Royal Rodeo moving to Sprint Center

American Royal Rodeo moving to Sprint Center

The American Royal Rodeo will move from Kemper Arena to downtown Kansas City this October, the American Royal Association said this morning.

The association said it will hold its 2011 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Gold Tour Rodeo on Oct. 27-29 at the Sprint Center.

“The change in venue from Kemper Arena is intended to bring new excitement and greater attendance to this historic event,” David M. Fowler, chairman of the American Royal’s Board of Directors, said in a release.

“A principal reason for moving the event to Sprint Center is the opportunity to partner with AEG in bringing top-tier concert entertainment to close-out each evening Rodeo performance,” he said.

Brenda Tinnen, general manager and senior vice president of Sprint Center/AEG Kansas City, said in the release that Reba McEntire will anchor the event with an Oct. 29 concert as part of her All the Women I Am Tour.

All of the American Royals other events, including the livestock show and the barbeque competition, will remain at the American Royal Complex in the West Bottoms.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kate Middleton and Prince William go to a rodeo

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge go bronco busting at a rodeo in Calgary, Canada

To wrap up their Canada trip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traded their suit and dress for some jeans and Western shirts to accompany the traditional Smithbilt cowboy hats they were given at the Calgary Stampede and rodeo demonstration in Calgary, Canada.

While Kate and Will didn't actually become rodeo cowboys, they did have the honor of pressing the button that started the Calgary Stampede.

From loving glances at each other to rounds of applause for the rodeo acts, the royal newlyweds seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the event.

The rodeo was one of the first events to become public knowledge about their trip to Canada. Though the royal family fans in Calgary eagerly awaited the day, many animal rights activists begged Kate and Will to avoid the rodeo, claiming that it would show support for animal cruelty, reported

After their 2-day stay in Calgary, the Duke and Duchess bid Canada farewell and made their way to Los Angeles, California, where they will spend the last few days of their North American tour.

For more on the couple's trip to Canada, check out these GlobalPost photo galleries:

Kate Middleton's Marilyn Monroe mishap (PHOTOS)

Kate Middleton and Prince William visit Canada (PHOTOS)

Kate Middleton and Prince William paddle a canoe in Canada (PHOTOS)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Look at the Folsom Pro Rodeo

Folsom Pro Rodeo

by David Alvarez

The city of Folsom celebrated its 51st year hosting the Folsom Pro Rodeothis Fourth of July weekend, attracting residents from all over the Sacramento area for Old West-style festivities at the Dan Russell Arena.
The rodeo kicked off with a cattle drive through Folsom’s Historic District on Thursday evening, with festivities lasing until Sunday. The heat did not deter people from attending the sold-out event in full sun and Western dress.
Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
The Pained Ladies Drill Team were the first performers of Sunday evening, entering the arena on horseback with patriotic costumes and American flags. They stood at attention for our National Anthem, and then showed off their skills as they maneuvered through various precision drills.
Painted Ladies Team at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
The events in the Pro Rodeo circuit are sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. Seven events take place during these sanctioned rodeos.
After the opening festivities was the tie-down roping event, which allows a calf a head start and then the rider tries to lasso the calf. Once the calf is caught, the rider dismounts and attempts to tie any three legs together. A time of 10 seconds or less is the goal, with the fastest time winning the event.
Tie-down roping event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
Whenever a participant failed to complete an event or was disqualified, the announcer said things like, “The only thing this cowboy will be going home with is the applause that you’re going to give him right now. Please cheer for them and wish them better luck next time.”
The team roping event followed, a time trial with teams of two cowboys. After a steer takes a head start, one member must rope the steer around one horn, two horns or around the neck, while the other attempts to rope the steer’s hind legs.
Team roping event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
Steer wrestling tests speed and strength. The event usually takes three to five seconds to win.
Described as the linebacker of rodeo, steer wrestlers face a formidable opponent. A horseback rider chases the steer and attempts to wrestle the steer to the ground by grabbing its horns and leveraging himself with his feet to bring down the steer.
Steer wrestling event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
During the event, one of the steers left the gate a little earlier than anticipated, giving the event DJ a chance to play Player’s “Baby Come Back.”
After this rough event, the rodeo was cleared for children 10 and under for a striking silver event, where $100 worth of silver dollar coins are scattered around the arena. A stampede took place as a couple hundred kids raced to find at least one of the coins.
Striking silver event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
Patriotism was at the center of the event, with about 10 young adults taking the oath to enter the U.S. Army and receiving a standing ovation. As the newest members of the U.S. Army made their way out of the arena, the festivities continued.
10 new U.S. Army recruits are sworn in (Image by: David Alvarez)
Local skydiver Kent Lane dropped into the arena from above 4,000 feet. While mid-air, Lane lowered a 2,000-square-foot American flag as the audience cheered.
Skydiver Kent Lane gets ready to land at the Dan Russell Arena (Image by: David Alvarez)
The Marine Corps Color Guard followed, marching to the center of the arena where Jim “Digger” Williams and family sang the National Anthem.
Marine Corps Color Guard at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
The team bronc riding event followed, wherein a three-man team must put a saddle on an untrained horse and ride the horse around a barrel. The broncos tried to buck and kick their way away from the cowboys, making the maneuver nearly impossible at the beginning. “Wipe Out’ was a suitable song for the event. Once a rider was able to ride for a few seconds, they had to dismount without getting hurt.
Team bronc riding event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)Bareback riding is considered one of the most demanding events in the rodeo competition. Riders start behind a chute as they mount a horse by grasping a handhold, called a rigging, made of leather. As the horse jumps out of the chute, the cowboy puts his spurs up to the animal’s neck area until the spurs touch the rigging. The rider is judged on his spurring technique and how far he leans back and rides it out.
The saddle bronc riding event was divided into two sections as riders Bubba Maher, Wes Jones, Luke White, and Ethan Lemmons rode fierce rides that had names such as Chicken Hawk, Moonshine, Bucky’s Sam, Hill Top, Runaround Rita, One Eyed Annie, Obama Rama, Wide Country and Honor the Bar.
Saddle bronc riding event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
Considered to be the most demanding event of the rodeo, the saddle bronc riding event incurred a few injuries. The people who diverted the wild animals, which weigh up to 1,200 pounds, away from the riders to prevent injury had a busy evening, with the Folsom Fire Department on hand in case of serious injury. This event is judged by endurance and physical performance of both horse and rider.
Painted Ladies at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
In between saddle bronc riding sections was the delightful Kids’ Mutton Bustin’. Over a dozen kids took turns trying to ride sheep for the longest time. Mini 5- and 6-year-old cowboys and cowgirls put on helmets and tried to stay on the sheep, but many fell off as soon as the sheep left the chute.
Line for Mutton Bustin' event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
The entertainment also featured Loomis-native Charlie “Too Tall’ West, a professional rodeo clown who has been in the business for 30 years. He was a hit with children and adults, taking center stage with Molly, his miniature horse.
Charlie "Too Tall" West with his horse Molly (Image by: David Alvarez)
Barrel racing was another timed event where riders raced around barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. Riders can be disqualified for riding in an incorrect pattern.
Barrel racing event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
Bull riding is considered the most dangerous sport in rodeo. A rodeo bull can weigh 2,000 pounds or more. They are a magnificent species, agile and quite dangerous. Riders use a flat-braided rope pulled tight around the bull and across their gloved riding hand. The bull can whip a rider toward its head, where it can connect for a dangerous head butt.
Bull riding event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
In order to receive a valid score, the cowboy must hold the rope and not touch the ground or any part of the bull with his free hand or arm. The rider has to stay on the bull for eight seconds before dismounting.
The rodeo was followed by a motocross rider display that allowed the riders to showcase their stunt skills. Jesse Jolson, a professional motocross rider, is scheduled to perform nightly. A mobile ramp was included to show motocross stunts as the audience enjoyed their awe inspiring performance.
Motocross event at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)The nightly fireworks capped a great day of excitement.
Fireworks end each rodeo night at the Folsom Pro Rodeo (Image by: David Alvarez)
If you have not attended the Folsom Pro Rodeo before, you can rely on a great, safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend event for your whole family. And that’s no bull.