When Payson Pro Rodeo event staff members Haylee Huff and Tracy Fitzpatrick managed a short break from their harried duties, they used the moments to take in the specialty acts that highlighted the weekends activities.
"There are some really good ones," Huff said.
Fitzpatrick agreed, "They do some wild stuff."
This year, the Payson rodeo drew one of the finest acts in the country -- The One Arm Bandit & Company. It first came to Payson in 2000 when John Payne, the original "One Arm Bandit" performed.
In 2003, Payne's son took over for his dad and performed in Payson.
Most recently, Aug. 19, 20, 21 at the Payson Event Center, Payne's daughter, Amanda -- of Cherokee descent -- took her turn at performing.
During her shows, Amanda managed to convince a pair of wild buffalo to climb up a ramp to the top of a tractor-trailer rig where she later joined them on horseback.
The act ended with the trailer motoring around the arena and Amanda riding the horse in circles atop the rig.
Her performances, which were often done with cracking bull whips, drew standing ovations from spectators.
One Arm Bandit & Company is widely considered one of the top specialty acts in the country and has performed several times in the national finals.
This year's rodeo might have been The One Arm Bandit & Company's last visit to Payson for a while. Rodeo organizers try to keep the program fresh from year to year so they could be seeking out new acts for future rodeos.
50/50 drawing benefits student scholarships
Jennifer Kiley of Payson was Friday night's winner of $229 from the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee 50/50 raffle. Saturday afternoon Debbie Leeper of Mesa received $298. Saturday evening was the big jackpot. Linda Moore of Phoenix won $599. Tim Neese, from Tempe, won on Sunday, as his $5 investment in the 50/50 raffle netted him $382.
Rodeo parade winners:
Gila County Sheriff's Posse
Rim Country Classic Auto Club
Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard
Red Hat Society
Costumed Rider - Female
Gilbert Days Rodeo Royalty
Costumed Riding Group
Hashknife Pony Express
Payson Youth Football
Funniest (Theme) Entry
Pine Strawberry Fire Department
Payson High School Cheerleaders
The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Rodeo Board would like to extend their appreciation to the sponsors of the 2005 August Doin's Rodeo Parade. A big thank you to APS (The Power to Make it Happen) and to Weather Masters (The Premier Heating and Cooling Service for Rim Country).
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