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  • Paul Cooley


The Gerry Volunteer Fire Department has signed a contract with Painted Pony Championship Rodeo of Lake Lucerne as stock contractor and producer of their 73rd consecutive annual PRCA rodeo, scheduled for four performances, August 2-5, with approximately 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls competing for $45,000 in prize money.

This will be the seventh consecutive year for Painted Pony to come to Gerry.  Shawn and Shana Graham have owned the Painted Pony Rodeo for 15 years and currently produce more than 40 rodeo performances each year, including weekly summer rodeos at their home ranch in Lake Lucerne. They will be bringing more than 100 head of stock to Gerry for the event.

The rodeo will feature the seven traditional rodeo events – bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and cowgirls’ barrel racing. The prize money for each event is a minimum of $5000, with the money coming from the fire department, sponsors, and the entry fees from the contestants.

To make the rodeo even more attractive to contestants, an anonymous donor is sponsoring a hospitality tent to provide the competing cowboys and cowgirls with free food and drinks. The contestants are also offered half price tickets for the famous barbeque beef dinners.

Saturday afternoon will again feature a free kids’ rodeo at 4:00 on Saturday afternoon for young fans ages 3-8, where the kids will compete in rodeo related games in the arena with a silver belt buckle being awarded to the best dressed junior cowboy and cowgirl.

Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell says that even though prices, especially beef, have gone up this year, every attempt has been made to keep prices at a reasonable rate, with tickets for the beef barbeque dinners and rodeo admission remaining the same as last year.  The dinners will be served nightly beginning at 5:00, Wednesday through Saturday.  The lighted midway will again feature more than 20 vendors with everything from cotton candy to Western wear.

This rodeo is now the longest consecutive rodeo east of the Mississippi and all proceeds benefit the fire and rescue efforts of the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department. Rodeo fans are invited to visit the new rodeo website for more information or by phone - (716) 985-4847 or toll free at 1-888-985-4847.

Photo: The contract for this summer’s Gerry Rodeo has been signed with Painted Pony Championship Rodeo. Seated at the signing are from left; Shawn Graham, Painted Pony Rodeo co-owner; Tom Atwell, rodeo chairman; standing; Shana Graham, Painted Pony co-owner; David Hall, assistant rodeo chairman.

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