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  • Paul Cooley


GERRY – Two dozen area youth had the unique experience of learning about rodeo from four professional cowboys at the free Rodeo Camp at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds sponsored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association last Saturday.

Only eight such camps are held nationwide with the one in Gerry being the only camp held east of the Mississippi. Their purpose is to promote the sport of rodeo through both classroom and arena participation. The youth get hands-on experience with a mechanical bull, bronc, and steer, as well as learning about fundamentals of the sport, injury prevention, livestock safety, equipment, and fitness and nutrition.

Julie Jutten, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the national director of the camps, and in Gerry she was assisted by four veteran rodeo stars: bull rider Chris Prange, steer wrestler Olin Ellsworth, saddle bronc rider J.T. Hitch, and bareback rider Tim Kent.

Tom Atwell, chairman of the Gerry Fire Department’s rodeo committee, says that being chosen for the sixth time to host one of these national rodeo camps speaks well of the Gerry Rodeo’s history and reputation.

The Gerry Rodeo now moves into its 74th consecutive year of bringing professional rodeo to Western New York, with four performances featuring more than 200 pro cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation competing for $45,000 in prize money, August 1-4. Additional information is available at the rodeo website or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1888-985-4847.

Photo: A young aspiring cowboy gets a lesson on the mechanical bull from veteran bull rider, Chris Prange, at last Saturday’s free Rodeo Camp at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds.

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