Rodeo Draws More Than 200 Cowboys

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For Payson Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong, the 2005 Gary Hardt Memorial PRCA Spring Rodeo was a labor of love.

"It was great because everyone -- the Chamber of Commerce, (Tonto Apache) Tribe and the Payson Rodeo Committee -- worked together to put on a fabulous rodeo," Armstrong said. "And the Payson Horseman's Association jumped in with a lot of help."

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In the bareback riding at the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo, Cody Mullin finished second overall and earned $547.20 in prize money. Mullin rode First Star BK to a score of 75.

The competition was May 19 to 21 at the Payson Event Center.

The largest crowd, Armstrong said, turned out for the Saturday evening performance, which was highlighted by the appearance of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales. The eight-horse team appeared as part of the "Here's to the Heroes Tour 2005" -- a salute of American servicemen and women and veterans.

The cowboy who drew the most attention from local rodeo fans was Cody Hancock in the bull riding.

The Snowflake resident is well known in the Rim country and drew a round of cheers when he rode to a first place tie in the event. He scored a 94 aboard T1 BK and earned $798 in prize money.

The biggest money was Ronald Bowman who pocketed $1,026 in the steer wrestling.

Other winners included Justen Washburn (saddle bronc; $805,60), Dustin Murray (bareback; $729.60), J.D. Kibbe (calf roping; $964.25), Katti Autry (barrel racing; $908.59) and Kyle Romo and Nate Singletary (team roping; $981.46 each).

Total prize money in the team roping was a rodeo-high $6,768.75.

Armstrong estimated more than 200 professional cowboys participated in the rodeo that was produced by Honeycutt Rodeo of Alamosa, Colo.

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