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  • Paul Cooley


The Gerry Volunteer Fire Department closed the gates on its 72nd consecutive pro rodeo with a capacity crowd on Saturday night, leading rodeo chairman Tom Atwell to call the event “very successful”.

The four days of rodeo competition saw 185 cowboys and cowgirls, including some of those in the top 25 in the World rankings, come from 31 states as far away as Texas and California to vie for prize money which this year topped the $61,000 mark. This money comes from the fire department itself, from sponsors, and from the entry fees paid by each contestant. These fees range from $90 for the bareback event to $200 for the team roping. Failure to do well in his or her event means the contestant not only loses that entry fee but spends a considerable sum to travel to the rodeo.

Attendance for the four performances topped the 7300 mark, while the number of barbeque beef dinners served was 3004. Atwell credits much of the success to the approximately 200 volunteers, many of whom took vacations to work for free at this event.

The All-around Cowboy award went to Felton, Pennsylvania’s J.R.Myers. This award goes to the cowboy who wins the most money by competing in at least two events. Myers two events were the tie-down roping and the team roping. He, along with the other event winners, received a set of beautifully crafted Montana Silversmith spurs donated by the fire department.

This rodeo is now the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi. All proceeds go to benefit the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department which answers approximately 350 fire and rescue calls annually. More information about the rodeo, including stories about this year’s events and photographs, as well as the history of the rodeo.

Following are the top three winners in each of the seven competitive events along with the amount each won. The bull riding saw only two successful rides on the week so those two cowboys took home all the money for that event. There were additional payouts, but only the top three are listed in the interest of space.

Steer Wrestling

Greg Rounds                 Sicklerville, New Jersey                 $974

Mike Cliver II                 Westfield, Pennsylvania               $731

Tom Farrelly                 Cayuga, New York                           $487

Tie-down Roping

Justin Thigpen Waycross, Georgia                                      $1095

Zac Danison                 Groveport, Ohio                               $821

Hadley DeShazo Salem, Arkansas                                       $4547

Bareback Riding

Tim O’Connell Zwingle, Iowa                                    $2430

Tanner Phipps Dalton, Georgia                                $1863

Kyle Brennecke Stephenville, Texas                        $1377

Saddle Bronc Riding

Sterling Crawley Stephenville, Texas                         $2481

Shane Proctor Grand Coulee, Washington               $1902

Cody DeMoss Heflin, Louisiana                                  $1406

Team Roping

Ross Clatterbuck Berkeley Springs, W. Virginia                      $1023

J.R. Myers                       Felton, Pennsylvania                                     $1023

Darren Morgan Fort Ann, New York                                       $767

Shawn Quinn                 Schuylerville, New York                                 $767

Carmine Nastri Ballston, New York                                         $511

Lewis Rimes, Jr.           Germantown, Maryland                                 $511

Barrel Racing

Wendy Chesnut Poultney, Vermont                                         $2515

Robin Weaver Mahaffey, Pennsylvania                                   $2138

Joyce Stoltfus Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania                           $1760

Bull Riding

Eli Vastbinder Statesville, North Carolina                            $3040

Scott Sellers Warwick, Maryland                                            $2331

Photo: J.R. Myers (right) of Felton, Pennsylvania, is presented his set of Montana Silversmith spurs from rodeo chairman Tom Atwell for winning the All-around Cowboy title for the second consecutive year at the Gerry Fire Department’s 72nd annual rodeo.

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