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  • Paul Cooley

Gerry Rodeo - Thursday Update

More than 2000 fans turned in perfect summer weather to cheer on outstanding professional rodeo competition by pro athletes from 24 states and Brazil in the second performance of the Gerry Fire Department’s 78thannual rodeo.

The night’s activities began as announcer Greg Simas introduced a special tribute to our military members, first responders, and health care workers whom he called the “true American heroes” by having them stand to a prolonged ovation from the fans. Prayer, the National Anthem, and the grand entry with all the competing cowboys and cowgirls circling the arena on horseback concluded the opening ceremonies.

Bareback bronc riding kicked off the competition with six of the nine cowboys making successful rides. Eighteen-year-old Brayze Schill traveled across the country from his home in West Columbia, Texas, to win this event with a 79-point ride on a bronc named Thirteen Soldier. The other five successful riders all scored in the 70’s

The Painted Pony steers broke very fast from the chutes on this night, resulting in only three steer wrestlers successfully throwing their steer to the arena dirt. Chase Brantmayer, Williamstown, New Jersey, posted the top time at 10.4 seconds with another New Jersey cowboy, Clay Harp, Jr., taking second at 16.4 seconds.

Four of the team roping teams successfully roped the horns and hind legs of their steer. Two Pennsylvania cowboys, Waylon Cameron and Scott Brown, placed first with an exceptionally fast time of 5.9 seconds. Second place went to another pair of Pennsylvania ropers, David Ballantyne and Joey Wenger, with a 6.8 secondstime.

Five of the ten cowgirls were able to successfully rope their calves in the breakaway roping event with only two-tenths of a second separating the top two. Tori Robert, Swedesboro, New Jersey, was first at 3.4 seconds while Kasey DiCola, Annville, Pennsylvania. was second at 3.6.

Two saddle bronc riders who are a long way from home, Clint Franks, Clarendon, Texas, and Rudy Troyer, Cookville, Tennessee, tied for first place with judges awarding each of them 79 points. Michael Womack. Bastrop, Louisiana, finished one point behind at 78.

The tie-down roping competition was very close as only three-tenths of a second separated the top two ropers. Jerry Easler from Jennings, Florida, placed first at 9.2 seconds, while Zane Kilgus, Watsontown, Pennsylvania, posted a 9.5 second ride.

The arena dirt seemed to be a bit slow tonight as only two of the ten cowgirl barrel racers broke the 16 second barrier. Madison Ann Lager, Woodbine, Maryland, was fastest at 15.41 seconds while Jacqueline Weitzman, New Freedom, Pennsylvania, finished the ride around the three barrels in 15.84 seconds.

The tide turned a bit in the dangerous bull riding as three cowboys posted successful rides after the bulls had thrown all 15 cowboys on opening night. Michael Caruso, Pilesgrove, New Jersey, took top honors with a 78 point ride on a bull named Black Label. Second and third place went to two riders who traveled three thousand miles from San Paulo, Brazill. Maikon Calixto Rocha was only one point behind first place at 77 points while Jean Carlos DeSouza was third with 70 points.

The rodeo continues tonight and Saturday night at 8:00 with more than 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls trying to win a piece of the approximately $50,000 in prize money.

The kitchen crew reports serving 625 dinners prior to the rodeo. The barbeque beef dinners are served both tonight and Saturday from 5:00-8:00 in the air-conditioned dining room. The midway with more than 20 vendors also opens at 5:00.

A free kids’ rodeo will be held on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 in the rodeo arena for kids ages 3-8 where they will play rodeo related games supervised by rodeo personnel with a belt buckle awarded for the best dressed little cowboy and cowgirl. Registration is at 3:00.

Further information is available at the rodeo website or by phone at 716-985-4847 or 1-888-985-4547.

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