Rodeo Weekend: Parade, Reunion, Rodeo

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To show appreciation for the support Rim Country residents have given the August rodeo over the years, Friday, Aug. 18, will be Family Night.

Tina Bruess, executive director of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the purchase of one adult ticket will admit a second person free.

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Payson rodeo contestant Lani Murdoch runs the barrels during the "Turn and Burn" series competition at the Payson Event Center Thursday. Murdoch will be competing in the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo this weekend.

The special promotion tickets are available in advance of the rodeo at the Chamber office, 100 West Main St. in Payson, and at Corral West Ranch Wear, 220 E. Highway 260 in Payson.

The World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo will offer four performances at the Payson Event Center.

  • 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 (gates open at 6 p.m.)
  • 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 (gates open at noon)
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 (gates open at 6 p.m.)
  • 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 (gates open at noon)

Ticket costs are: $14 for those 13 and older; $12 for senior citizens; $7 for those 5 to 12; under 5 will be admitted free.

More than 200 contestants, all members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will be in Payson to compete in the 122nd World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo's four performances.

The barrel racing and pole bending talents of Rim Country cowgirls will be spotlighted in the 2006 World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

The top barrel racing talent of the Rim Country and Tonto Basin will be featured during the rodeo performances.

There will be 22 women showing their equestrian skills and talent for speed at the four rodeo performances: 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20.

Specialty act

The specialty act at the 2006 World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo in Payson is Buffalo Breath.

Dan McIntosh, aka "Buffalo Breath," said, "There is lots of action in my acts. They are wild, exciting, humorous and unique. I strive to do what no one else has done."

The co-stars of McIntosh's act are a team of hard-running, well-trained American quarter horses. In addition to the horses, the act includes a wagon, comedy, action, gunfire and pyrotechnics.

He started his act in 1998, worked two years at the amateur level then applied for and received his PRCA card.

His most recent performances were in Prescott and Hamel, Minn.

Parade

The theme for this year's rodeo parade is "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowgirls."

"The theme was picked because Miss Rodeo Arizona from last year, Amanda Jenkins, is now Miss Rodeo America and the new Miss Rodeo Arizona, Elizabeth Scott, is the grand marshal of the parade," said parade chair, Stephanie Keeney.

She said the parade this year will include members of the El Zaribah Shriners, the Calendar Cowgirls, Wild Women of the West, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee and their "jail," the three candidates for Payson justice of the peace and rodeo royalty from around the state.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with registration at 7:30 a.m. at the Payson Elementary School, 500 E. Rancho Road. The parade route is along the North Beeline Highway (S.R. 87) from Rancho Road to the Payson Village Shopping Center (in the vicinity of Bashas' parking lot).

For more information, call the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce at (928) 474-4515 or (800) 672-9766.

Rodeo Reunion

The Second Annual Payson Rodeo Reunion, following the parade, will feature Nancy Sheppard, now 76, who will perform rope tricks in Payson for the first time since 1948 when she performed here at the age of 18. She went on to be drafted into the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The Gila County resident's last formal performance was in 1990 for Armani in Milan, Italy.

The rodeo reunion, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center, will incorporate a reunion for all Payson High School graduates.

To make a reservation directly, call (928) 474-0380 or (928) 474-3227 or e-mail Peace-Pyle at jaynepeace@hotmail.com or Leckie Cline Ski at spiritwoman@direcway.com.

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