- Paul Cooley
PAINTED PONY PRO RODEO SIGNED FOR 71ST ANNUAL GERRY RODEO
The Gerry Volunteer Fire Department has again signed a contract with Painted Pony Pro Rodeo of Lake Lucerne as stock contractor and producer of their 71st consecutive annual PRCA rodeo, scheduled for four performances, August 5-8, with approximately 125 professional cowboys and cowgirls competing for $45,000 in prize money.
According to rodeo chairman Tom Atwell, several changes have been made to provide the best experience possible for rodeo fans. To attract more contestants to the popular bull riding event, the Fire Department Auxiliary has donated money to double the prize dollars in that event. This means that the three rough stock events – bareback bronc and saddle bronc riding along with the bull riding – now each offer $7000, which should draw some of the top riders from across the nation. In addition, the winner of each of the seven competitive events will be presented with a set of Montana Silversmith spurs.
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.
One major change for the fans will be the elimination of the Saturday afternoon matinee, leaving four nightly performances beginning at 8:00. The matinee will be replaced with 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.
Atwell added that even though prices, especially beef, have gone up dramatically this year, every attempt has been made to keep prices at a reasonable rate, with tickets for the beef barbeque dinners and rodeo admission increasing by only one dollar. 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 www.gerry rodeo.org for more information or by phone - (716) 985-4847 or toll free at 1-888-985-4847.