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  • Paul Cooley


The Gerry Rodeo has again received national recognition as it has been selected by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as one of only eight rodeo sites nationwide to host a free PRCA Championship Rodeo Camp on Saturday, May 5, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The Camp is open at no cost to anyone eight years old and older, both male and female, and its purpose is to promote the sport of rodeo through education and recruitment of young people who may become the next generation of rodeo stars. The event will provide a fun rodeo related experience through both classroom and arena participation with instruction by professional rodeo cowboys.

According to rodeo chairman Tom Atwell, this is a unique opportunity for this area as this is the only such camp being held east of the Mississippi. He adds that this selection speaks well for the quality of the Gerry Rodeo as its 74 consecutive years of professional rodeo has earned national recognition.

The camps are made possible at no cost to participants through the PRCA and its sponsors as well as rodeo committees across the country.

The curriculum includes an introduction to the rough stock events (bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, and bull riding) with an emphasis on fundamentals, chute procedures, livestock safety, injury prevention, and fitness and nutrition. The Camps are geared for beginning youth and for advanced riders who want to learn the fundamentals from PRCA champions. There will be no live buck-outs.

The day’s activities will be conducted at the rodeo conference center on Route 60, five miles north of Jamestown, and will be held regardless of the weather. A free lunch will be provided for participants.

Pre-registration is required and forms are available at the PRCA website or by visiting the Gerry Rodeo website The registration needs to be completed by April 28, but early registration is encouraged as spaces are limited. Call (716) 985-4215 or (716) 969-4488 if there are problems with the registration. Additional information is available by email at or by calling Julie Jutten, the director of the Camps, at (719) 528-4729.

The 74th annual Gerry Rodeo, the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi, is set for four performances, August 1-4, featuring more than 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation competing for $45,000 in prize money. Additional information regarding the rodeo is available at the website or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847.

Photo: A young aspiring cowboy takes a lesson from a professional cowboy on the mechanical bull at last year’s free rodeo camp in Gerry.

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