Oldest Rodeo Offers Best Time Ever

Only three Rim Country residents will be competing in the 129th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday.

Only three Rim Country residents will be competing in the 129th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Click here August Rodeo 2013 to purchase pictures from last night's performance (Thursday, August 2013).

Only three Rim Country residents will be competing in the 129th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday.

Terri James and Penny Conway ran barrels in slack this morning, Friday, Aug. 16, and TJ Brown, with partner Wyatt Althoff, whose family has lived in Payson for many years, will team rope at the 1 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 18 performance. They have the seventh slot in the contest.

Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong pointed out that World Champion team roper Jake Barnes, of Scottsdale, participates in the 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17 performance. He will be competing in the eighth slot of the night with Russ Sullivan of Peralta, N.M. Another team roper of note is Hal Earnhardt III, of Queen Creek, and a part-time Rim Country resident. He is in the 10th slot of the 1 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 18 show with partner Victor Aros of San Tan Valley, Ariz.

The barrel racing competition has 58 entrants, tie-down roping 27 competitors and team roping 20. The bareback riding drew only seven contestants. Bull riding has 13 entries; saddle bronc riding will have 15 competitors; and steer wrestling has 12 entries.

The top finishers in each event at the end of four performances will be presented with handmade Leon King spurs.

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Moonshine Mafia will provide live music for the rodeo dances Friday and Saturday.

Specialty act and more

The specialty act — and barrel man — for the 2013 World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo is Slim (Jeff) Garner.

Garner grew up on the edge of the Flint Hills, Kan. “The cowboy world has been a way of life in my family for generations. I rode almost from the time I could walk, and it wasn’t long before I started breaking horses and accompanying my dad as he clowned and fought the bulls for rodeos. It’s a life I love and I love to entertain the rodeo crowds,” Garner says on his Web site.

He has been clowning rodeos for the last 15 years. In 2000, he earned his PRCA card and has traveled from Wisconsin to Arizona and most all points in between.

Special events planned as part of the weekend include a costume contest at the 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17 show; and during the 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17 show, Armstrong said competitors with 25 years experience will get special gold. To learn more about the costume contest, contact Armstrong at (928) 474-9440.

Another special event is the premiere of the first song dedicated to the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. Before the 1 p.m. show on Sunday, Aug. 18 — Family Day — 10 youngsters from Payson Community Kids will present an original song written by PCK volunteer Katy Rovetto (details are in another story in this edition).

This year the rodeo features two dances following the evening shows Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17. Moonshine Mafia will provide the live music and admission is free with rodeo ticket stubs.

In the Tuesday, Aug. 13 the Roundup and in today’s column by DJ Craig it was reported the Rodeo Jail gather donations for the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee’s scholarship fund. Actually, organizers canceled the Rodeo Jail event this year at the last minute.

Tickets

Admission to the rodeo is $18 for those 13 to 64; $16 for seniors, 65 and older; $10 for children, 8 to 12; and children 7 and younger, as well as active armed forces personnel will be admitted for free. A special reserve seating ticket is available for $22.

Go online to paysonprorodeo.com for details and a link to purchase tickets over the Internet.

Shows are at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17, with gates opening at 5 p.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18, with gates opening at 11 a.m.

The annual Rodeo Parade, sponsored by the Zane Grey Kiwanis, is at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, starting at Green Valley Park and going east on West Main to the Sawmill Crossing area.

“I’d like to thank the rodeo committee, our volunteers and national sponsors for making the rodeo possible. It is going to be a really good one,” said Armstrong.

Look for the special rodeo edition of The Rim Review inside today’s paper.

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