Rodeo A Success In Spite Of Rain

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

A mud-filled arena at the Payson Event Center is probably what will make the 126th annual World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo one of the most memorable in the long history of Payson rodeos. Surprisingly, in spite of the monsoon Aug. 21 — which generated severe storm warnings — the Saturday night show was only delayed by 15 minutes.

Mother Nature tried her best, but couldn’t put the clamps on the 126th Annual World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

Despite downpours during the Aug. 21 evening performance, the rodeo went on with only a single 15-minute delay at the start.

The rain continued throughout the evening, pausing for only minutes at a time.

While some spectators fled for cover and others left the Payson Event Center, there were those who braved the weather conditions for the entire performance.

Also, a computer snafu stalled the recording of events, but eventually rodeo secretary Irene Singer had the problem rectified and the results accurately recorded.

Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong is calling the rodeo a complete success, saying all the performances drew good-sized crowds of fans who seemed to enjoy the thrilling action and the performances of Alabama rodeo clown Brian Potter.

Some of his acts included Moto Cross Mike, Fanny Oakley, Alabama Fire Water and Wildest Rodeo Fan.

Armstrong also thanked all the sponsors, volunteers and those who worked to help put on the August Doin’s.

“We couldn’t put this on without the help of all those people,” he said.

The rodeo boss particularly lauded the Payson High School wrestling team that helped maintain the grounds, empty garbage, clean and keep PEC in sparkling condition.

In the team roping, Wyatt Althoff, a cowboy with Payson roots, but who hails from Anthony, N.M., teamed with T.J. Brown to take first place. The two pocketed $1,125.44.

It was, however, bull riders Wacey Barta and McSpark Fisher who won the largest single paychecks.

Both pocketed $1,603.91 for the one-two finish in the competition.

Barta won the first go-around aboard Bojangles with an 86. Fisher rode Meat Wagon to first in the second go with a 77.

Salt River Rodeo took on the Payson event with a reputation of producing good bulls and the animals lived up to the hype.

In the bareback competition, Taylor cowboy Wyatt Hancock was first and won $499.70.

Trevor Duhon of Phoenix won the steer wrestling and $903.77 in prize money. In the first go, he tied for first in 4.4 seconds, and he won the second go in 3.9 seconds.

In the saddle bronc riding, Cody Demose of Helflin, La. took top honors and $601.03.

Kelly Waide won $1,233.91 for her first-place finish in the barrel racing.

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