Rodeo To Feature 13 World Champions

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To paraphrase the old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tag line, there will be more stars than there are in heaven headlining this weekend's 118th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

"Bareback riding is a featured event, and we have 13 of the top 20 riders in the world not Arizona, the world participating this year," rodeo organizer Bill Armstrong said.

The World Champion bareback riders (with their unofficial PRCA standings as of Aug. 15) are Bobby Mote (No. 1, $64,585); Forest Bramwell (No. 3, $58,022); Wes Stevenson (No. 5, $56,698); Pete Hawkins (No. 7, $53,890); Jared Lavergne (No. 8, $52,609); Cody Jessee (No. 11, $50,605); Jason Jeter (No. 12, $46,860); Darren Clarke (No. 15, $39,612); Chad Klein (No. 17, $35,631); Mark Gomes (No. 18, $33,819); and Mark Garrett (No. 20, $31,963).

Also participating in bareback will be 23-ranked Tyson Thomson, 27-ranked Chris Harris, and rookie-of-the-year Tom MacFarland (currently No. 26) and 16-time national finalist Clint Corey (currently No. 21)

"The top rider in the world was recently injured, but we've got the next five in a row and they're all spread out, so that any performance you come to, you're gonna see a World Champion," Armstrong promised.

Schedule of events

Friday, August 16

Payson Event Center ticket booths open at 5 p.m.

Mutton Bustin' just before rodeo performance for kids ages five through seven (under 55 pounds). Limit 10 kids per performance. $10 entry fee includes bandana, belt buckle and chance to win a pair of Justin boots.

"Locals Appreciation Night" featuring half-price tickets. Adults $7, Kids $3.50. Rodeo performance at 7 p.m.

Rodeo Dance under tent at Payson Event Center featuring the popular band Mogollon starts at approximately 8:30 p.m. Admission $7. Must be 21 years of age or older.

Saturday, August 17

Rodeo Breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge on Rancho Rd.

Rodeo Parade at 9 a.m. This year's theme is "Pioneer Days." Parade starts at Rancho Rd. and Highway 87 and proceeds south on the highway to Bashas' shopping center.

Payson Event Center ticket booths open at 11 a.m.

Mutton Bustin' just before rodeo performance. See above.

Rodeo performance at 1 p.m. Adults $14, children $7.

Ticket booths open at 5 p.m. for evening performance.

Mutton Bustin' just before rodeo performance. See above.

Rodeo performance at 7 p.m. Adults $14, children $7.

Rodeo Dance under tent at Payson Event Center featuring Mogollon starts at approximately 8:30 p.m. Admission $7. Must be 21 years of age or older.

Sunday, August 18

Cowboy Church at 9 a.m.

Payson Event Center ticket booths open at 11 a.m.

Rodeo performance at 1 p.m. Adults $14, children $7.

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