The opening performance of the Gerry Fire Department’s 71st consecutive PRCA rodeo was named kids’ night for good reason as those twelve and under were admitted for $5 and the opening ceremonies featured the presentation of the flag by eight-year-old Gabby Graham and the National Anthem was sung by ten-year-old Danielle Krenzer.
Following prayer by announcer Greg Simas and the Grand Entry of dozens of cowboys and cowgirls on horseback, the near capacity crowd was treated to more than two and a half hours of non-stop rodeo action by some of the more than 200 competitors who are looking for a part of the $45,000 prize money.
Bareback bronc riding opened the night’s competition as five cowboys posted qualified rides with Jake Brown of Hillsboro, Texas, currently ranked number five in the world ranking, posting one of the highest scores at Gerry in recent years with an 86 point ride.
The saddle bronc event had three qualified rides with an Australian cowboy, Luke Morgan taking the top spot with 74 points. The cowboys in this event faced exceptionally tough broncs as three of them have been to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
The steer wrestlers posted some quick times with two cowboys from Marshalltown, Iowa, Ty Standley and Talon Roseland throwing their steers to the ground in 4.8 and 4.9 seconds respectively in the first go-round. Roseland the posted a time of 4.4 on his second steer to take the lead with an aggregate total of 9.3 seconds.
Zach Kilgus, Belpre, Ohio, took honors in the first go-round of the tie-down roping competition at 9.7 seconds. However, Hadley Deshazo from Salem, Arkansas, took over first place for the night with combined total of 20.7 seconds on this two calves.
In the team roping where one cowboy ropes the steer’s head while the other lassos the hind legs, two ropers from Texas, Cory Clark, Stephenville and Ethan Cory, Hico, roped their two steers in a total time of 12.2 seconds to win first place on the night.
The Painted Pony Rodeo’s bulls were in top form as only two riders were able to stay on for the required eight seconds. Freeman Yoder of Zearing, Iowa, drew Blue Canyon, a National Finals Rodeo bull and posted an outstanding score of 82 points while Alex Lee, Adrian, Michigan, took second with a score of 75.
The cowgirls had a tough time in the cloverleaf barrel race as half of the twelve girls were penalized for knocking over one or more barrels. The first rider of the night, Robin Weaver of Mahaffey, Pennsylvania, was the only rider to break the 15 second mark with a fast time of 14.94 seconds, while Nicloe Chaffey, Salisbury, Maryland, was second at 15.35. Third place went to the co-owner of the Painted Pony Rodeo, Shana Graham, at 15.57.
In other events on the night, 83 year-old George Quarta of Arizona was honored as the bareback champion from the 1951 Gerry Rodeo and thanked for his four years of service in Vietnam. Also introduced were Miss Rodeo New York, Cheyenne Schufelt, and Miss Teen Rodeo New York, Alicia Washeleski, along with the reigning rodeo queen from the State of Ohio.
Chef Bruce Gustafson reports that he cooked more than 800 pounds of beef and his kitchen crew served 791 dinners. The dinners will be served each evening through Saturday beginning at 5:00. The rodeo action continues tonight as well as Friday and Saturday at 8:00. All proceeds from this event support the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department. Information regarding the rodeo is available on line at www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at (716) 985-4215 or 1-888-985-4847.