The 17th annual Desertview Pro Rodeo is set to kick of this week as professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States converge on Castle Dale for the June 11-13 event.
Rodeo organizers moved the date up six weeks this year and the results are astounding. Because of the date change, this small town rodeo no longer has to compete with the much larger rodeos in July for contestant entries.
“Last year, we had 184 contestants enter our rodeo, which was 20 more than the year before,” rodeo chairman Klayton Laws, said. “However, this year with the change in dates, we have 276 entries with many rodeo superstars among them. The contestants this year have 107 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications among them and 10 world championships.”
So, who are these rodeo superstars? In bareback riding Caleb Bennett and Kelly Wardell are each four-time NFR qualifiers and Bennett is currently the number eight man in the world standings. Richmond Champion is the 2014 winner of The American, which paid him a one-day check of $1.1 million.
In steer wrestling there are four NFR qualifiers in Olin Hannum, Tom Lewis, Dirk Tavenner and Wyatt Smith. Also, Baylor Roche comes in as the current #15 man in the world standings.
Team roping legend and 11-time NFR qualifier Cory Petska along with his partner, four-time NFR qualifier Erich Rogers, leads a strong field of team ropers that will sure to delight the roping fans. Among the field is two local cowboys, Justin Truman, of Huntington, who is teamed up with JC Malone, as well as Brady Ramone, of Castle Dale, teamed up with Sam Taylor.
Saddle Bronc riding brings us the Rodeo Royalty family of the Wrights, from Milford, Utah. Cody, Jesse and Spencer are each World Champions while Jake, Alex and Rusty are well on their way of joining them as future world champions. The Wright boys have a total of 21 NFR qualifications, four world championships, three Saddle Bronc Rookie of the Year awards and over $4.2 million in career earnings. Rusty Allen, a five-time NFR qualifier, Allen Boore, the current #15 man in the standings, and Ferron resident Brock Winn are also among the Saddle Bronc competitors.
In tie down roping, Justin Truman of Huntington as well as NFR qualifier Jake Hannum should post fast times from the roping end. Tie down roping will feature some of the top athletes in the Wilderness Circuit.
Spectators can expect to see some extremely fast times posted during the barrel racing event as nine NFR qualifiers will turn and burn around the barrels. Most notable is 17-time NFR qualifier and four-time world champion Sherry Cervi. Fans will also have a chance to see the 2014 world champion Fallon Taylor. Current #1 lady in the world standings Nancy Hunter as well as the #3 lady Sarah McDonald will also be exciting to watch. Sierra Dawn Thomas, who recently competed in the reality TV series “Survivor” and local girl Teigan Adams from Castle Dale, will also be competing in the barrels.
Bull riding features five NFR qualifiers, led by world champion Wesley Silcox. Others include Steve Woolsey, Tag Elliot, Shawn Proctor and Tyler Smith. Bull riding also has the most local talent entered as Kashe Potter of Huntington, Jacob Marshall of Castle Dale, Quinn Montgomery of Orangeville and Dalton Rudman of Wellington will all match up against the bulls of Bar T Rodeo.
Each night of the rodeo, there will be giveaways.
“On Thursday night, one lucky person will win tickets to the 2015 NFR in Las Vegas,” Jake Atwood, Emery County Recreation Director and rodeo vice-chairman, said. “On Friday and Saturday, Price Auto is having a contest where 900 people will have their chance at winning $25,000, Also Saturday night is our Tough Enough to Wear Pink night where we will raffle off a bow from Frayed String Archery and a Remington 270 from Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. All proceeds go to help people in our community fighting with cancer. There will also be several program giveaways throughout the week so be sure to pick up a program each night for a chance to win.”
This year, Castle Dale City has teamed up with Emery County Recreation to make the rodeo a four-day, action packed event. Starting Wednesday, June 10, there will be a “2 Buck Barbecue” starting at 5 p.m. Bring the family and buy a $2 hamburger and then head to the grandstands to enjoy the annual Castle Dale Kid’s Rodeo, which will feature Slim Garner the rodeo clown as well as pro bullfighters Cade Burns and Nathan Harp. Events include stick horse races for kids ages 0-3 and 4-6 where winners will be awarded $20. Chicken and pig chases are always a good time, plus you get to keep whatever you catch. There will be a $20 “Cash Chris” for the 8-10 year olds, a $20 “Cash Sheep” for 10-12 year olds and $50 “Cash Cows” for 13-16 and one for ages 17 and up. Mutton busting for kids 4-7 will also be taking place. Sign-ups for mutton busting are at the Emery County Recreation Center with at a cost of $10. All other events Wednesday are free.
On Saturday morning, there will be a parade down Castle Dale Main Street starting at 10 a.m. If you are interested in participating in the parade, you can sign up at eEmery County Recreation.
After the parade, there will be a two-man team horseshoe tournament at 11 a.m. Cost is $20 per team to enter and there is $125 added to the pot.
There will also be lots of kid’s games, including sandbox treasure hunts, pie eating contests, sidewalk chalk drawing contest, fire truck rides and “Touch a Truck”, featuring many trucks of different kinds.
Desertview Pro Rodeo stock contractor Bar T will also be holding a “Behind the Chutes” tour after the parade. Come get a close up look at the animal athletes that will be performing at the rodeo. Also, you’ll be able to meet the bull fighters, stock contractor, contestants and people who make the rodeo possible.
Rodeo organizers are extremely grateful to all the local businesses who donate money each year to make this event possible.
The rodeo starts each night at 7:30 p.m. Discount admission for adults is $10 Thursday, $11 Friday and $12 Saturday. Tickets at the gate will be $12, $13 and $14, respectively. Kids tickets are $7 in advance and at the gate. Three-day passes are available in advance at a cost of $30 for adults and $15 for kids. Tickets are sold in advance at Desertview Federal Credit Union in Ferron and Huntington, IFA in Price and at the Emery County Recreation office.