123rd World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo Has It All

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There will be more than 200 members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in Payson this week for the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

Not all of them are from out of town though. The communities of the Rim Country have a nice representation among the competitors. One is Jason Amon, a homegrown boy who will be in the bareback and saddle bronc riding contests (he is the featured cowboy in this special publication of the Payson Roundup and Rim Review on Pages 4 and 5).

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Look for plenty of flags to be flying over the 123rd World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo events, the weekend of Aug. 16 through Aug. 19.

Tim Baker of Pine, TJ Brown of Payson and Clint James of Payson all will compete in the team roping event.

Teri James of Payson will be running the barrels. Seth Seidel of Tonto Basin will be in the saddle bronc riding.

The Payson Rodeo is hosting several National Finals Rodeo competitors, according to Bill Armstrong, president of the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee and arena boss for this year's event. Among the national-level contestants scheduled to be in the Payson Rodeo are: barrel racer Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz.; saddle bronc rider Steve Dollarhide, Wikieup, Ariz.; team roper H.P. Evetts, Hanford, Calif.; team roper Gary Ford, Denair, Calif; team roper Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz.; team roper Ernie Lowman, Indian Wells, Ariz.; calf roper Wesley McConnel, Aztec, N.M.; team roper Nick Sarchett, Phoenix, Ariz.; barrel racer Sheri Sinor-Estrada, Alamogordo, N.M.; bull rider Mike Stanley, Alamogordo, N.M.; and team roper Rube Woolsey, Casa Grande, Ariz.

With so many top flight team ropers coming to town, that might be the event to watch the closest. As a PRCA event, the points earned at the Payson Rodeo will go toward the competitors' year-end totals and whether or not they advance to the big money National Finals.

Armstrong said not all the competition will be at the actual performances; several of the events have so many contestants "slack time" is required to get through them all. Armstrong said there would be slack time contests on Friday morning at the Payson Event Center, starting around 9 a.m. It is a great opportunity to see rodeo in a different light.

The regular schedule of events for the Payson Rodeo -- all at Payson Event Center unless otherwise noted:

6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16, gates open at 5 p.m. - Charity Barrel Racing, admission a can of food

7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, gates open at 5 p.m. - Family Night and Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo Performance

9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18 - Rodeo Parade, North Beeline Highway from Rancho Road to Highway 260

1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, gates open at 11 a.m. - Rodeo Performance

7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, gates open at 5 p.m. - Rodeo Performance

1 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19, gates open at 11 a.m. - Final Rodeo Performance

Admission to the Rodeo performances is $14 for adults; $12 for senior citizens; $7 for children 5 to 12; free for children under 5. Tickets will be sold at the gate, but advance purchases may be made at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Beeline and West Main Street and Corral West Ranch Wear on Highway 260, between Bashas' and Sears.

For details, call (928) 474-4515.

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