The Honeycutt Rodeo company is once again primed and ready to help Payson host another outstanding edition of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.
The company which includes founder Roy Honeycutt, his wife, sons, daughters and grandchildren has built a reputation of providing Payson with some of the best stock in professional rodeo circles.
This year, the Honeycutts will bring to Payson more than 200 animals, including 60 bucking horses, 70 steers, 30 calves, 40 bulls and 15 saddle horses.
Drop by the rodeo grounds a week before the competition begins and you'll find the family, housed in their fifth-wheel, caring for the animals and checking every last detail of the performances.
The family takes pride in the fact that its livestock has been chosen every year since 1975 for the National Finals Rodeo.
At the 2001 NFR, the Honeycutts were represented by Ragged Edge in the bareback bronc riding and in the bull riding by Stray Dog.
Among some of Honeycutts most accomplished stock in past NFRs have been "Ragged Edge" and "Wounded Knee" in the bareback and "Top Gun Skoal" in the saddle bronc.
Honeycutt bulls "Copenhagen King Kong" and "High and the Mighty" were also chosen to the NFR.
Although quality stock is important to the success of a rodeo, there is much more to a contractor's responsibilities.
Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong says he knows what the key to Honeycutts success in Payson has been.
"Roy and his family are one of the best (contractors) there is for putting on good, wholesome family entertainment," he said. "Kids from 5 to 80 (years old) can enjoy their rodeos."
Event promotions and dynamic music that often include tributes to John Wayne and other legendary cowboys also help make Honeycutt-produced competitions some of the best around.
Another key to the success of the Honeycutt company is the years of experience Roy can call upon. He's been involved in the sport most of his life. His membership in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association dates back to 1955 when he was a saddle horse boy.
In 1962, he met, then married Virginia Alsbaugh, daughter of stock contractor Walt Alsbaugh. He immediately joined his father-in-law's business and worked there until 1975, when he set out on his own.
Since the formation of the Honeycutt Rodeo Company, it has turned into a family operation in which children Jerry, Scott and Janet play huge roles.
Each family member is assigned duties and are expected to carry them out to the best of their abilities. To date, four generations of the family have worked for the company.