Entertainment: Beauty, Precision, Plus Hilarity


Saddle bronc riding grew naturally out of ranch cowboys breaking wild broncos in the late 1800s to use as working cow horses. Modern saddle bronc riding has a few modifications, mainly in equipment. Saddle bronc saddles are lightweight and have no saddle horn. Riders must hold their boots over the horse’s shoulders at the first jump from the chute (called the mark out rule) and they must stay on for 8 seconds. The rider must constantly lift on the hack rein to keep his seat in the saddle. With all bronc events, a fleece flank strap is buckled around the flank of the animal, just snug enough to tickle. The animals, professional athletes in their own right, feel the fleece and know it’s bucking time.

Saddle bronc riding grew naturally out of ranch cowboys breaking wild broncos in the late 1800s to use as working cow horses. Modern saddle bronc riding has a few modifications, mainly in equipment. Saddle bronc saddles are lightweight and have no saddle horn. Riders must hold their boots over the horse’s shoulders at the first jump from the chute (called the mark out rule) and they must stay on for 8 seconds. The rider must constantly lift on the hack rein to keep his seat in the saddle. With all bronc events, a fleece flank strap is buckled around the flank of the animal, just snug enough to tickle. The animals, professional athletes in their own right, feel the fleece and know it’s bucking time. |

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Entertainment beyond the competition at Payson Event Center will include beauties in precision drills and the hilarity and high jinks of the PRCA 2012 Clown of the Year.

The Cowgirls Historical Foundation will present two programs during the 2013 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo. The specialty act for the event is Justin Rumford, who was named 2012 Clown of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in December at the Nationals in Las Vegas.

The Cowgirls Historical Foundation

The CHF, a non-profit organization, works to increase public awareness, appreciation and preservation of America’s western heritage and equestrian lifestyle. Members present creative educational programs and services, active community service and volunteerism, and participation in local, state and national events.

The group has participated in the spring and summer Payson rodeos for several years. With their mission statement to honor western heritage and spirit of patriotism, they develop equestrian performance drills with a message.

Using creative costuming, custom music mixes and unique props, the members use the beauty of the horse to interact with the audiences. At the 6 p.m., Friday, May 17 program’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink theme, the CHF will be performing a drill with long pink ribbons to respectfully show empathy for families who have battled cancer.

As part of the 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18 Patriotism Day performance, they will perform an equestrian drill inspired by the Boston Marathon tragedy. The group has a guest runner who ran in this year’s Boston Marathon integrated into the equestrian drill.

The Cowgirls Historical Foundation is a 2013 Cowboy Keeper’s award recipient from the National Day of the Cowboy organization. That award will be presented to the CHF during this Payson rodeo weekend.

Members of the CHF have enjoyed many opportunities of parade participation such as the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, Gilbert Days Parade, Prescott Frontier Days, Payson Rodeo Parade and many others. The Cowgirls celebrate western heritage by riding on beautiful, vintage silver parade saddles; wearing collectable rhinestone-studded vintage western wear from Hollywood’s Glitterati age, and honoring the future.

The flag drill team rides well-trained horses and wear outfits that are colorful and classy with vintage inspired shirts, matching blankets and details.

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PRCA photo

Justin Rumford will perform at the 2013 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo May 17 and May 18.

PRCA’s top clown entertains

Justin Rumford will bring his award-winning specialty act to the Payson Event Center arena as part of the 2013 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo.

This third generation rodeo cowboy out of Ponca City, Okla. has been in the PRCA since 1999 as a contestant, a pick-up man and now a Pro Rodeo entertainer.

By growing up in the rodeo business — Rumford Rodeo Company, established in the 1950s — and by working for the last 12 years for stock contractors, Rumford knows exactly what it takes to make a great production. Combine that knowledge with his original acts and quick wit and you have the perfect recipe.

His specialty acts include: braggart on bucking horse, gorilla hunter, mini motorcycle jump and cheerleader. The bucking horse act involves challenging the actual bronc riders by telling them their job looks easy, and then he must prove his point on an actual saddle bronc. Rumford’s gorilla hunter act is a gentle parody of the late Steve Irwin’s exploits on the Discovery Channel. Rumford “in” Buck Irwin, Steve’s long-lost cousin, who must corral a very smart gorilla that has escaped from a zoo and wound up in the rodeo arena. Expect plenty of surprises and lots of laughs.

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