|Jesse Aldous takes a spill at the San Rafael Pro Rodeo in 2002.|
The fifth annual Castle Valley Ranch/San Rafael Pro Rodeo is coming to town on July 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Emery County Recreation Department founded this rodeo in 1999. Cowboys and cowgirls from throughout the Western United States will converge on Castle Dale and treat rodeo goers to world class rides and spills. Emery County Recreation Director, Shannon Hiatt said, "We're excited about our rodeo this year and I feel like it has grown every year. We have 221 participants for two great nights of rodeo. This represents a 25 percent increase over last year. We have some great names coming to town like Lan Lajeunesse from Morgan is the 1999 and 2001 bareback riding world champion and he'll compete at our rodeo this year.
"We have some great events planned. I think the infamous wild cow milking is the wildest event in rodeo. It will be held both nights and will include local cowboys. The cowboys are from all walks of life and they enter the arena to be dragged, thrown and chased to obtain a few drops of precious milk in a bottle as their goal. This is a dangerous event as well and the all-around winners for both nights will receive Montana Silversmith belt buckles. They will also compete for a large purse each night.
"We're excited about the registered quarter horse, horse colt which was donated by the Castle Valley Ranch. This colt will be given away at the Friday evening performance. A winning ticket will be drawn from the Friday night rodeo ticket stubs and the winner must be present. The two and a half month old colt can be taken home or it can stay with its mother at the ranch until the time it is weaned. It will be a lot of fun to see who ends up with this valuable colt.
"Local cowboys will also be participating in the rodeo. Justin Carter is a calf roper from Green River, Will Payne is a bull rider from Cleveland, Chuck Rich is a bareback rider from Cleveland, Buck Taylor is a bull rider from Huntington, Brock Truman is a calf roper from Huntington, Justin Truman is a calf roper from Huntington and is also the 2002 defending calf roping champion of the San Rafael Pro Rodeo. The overall purse for the rodeo will top $35,000 and we're pretty happy about that significant amount of change for the participants. The rodeo is completely full and the events will include: bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, team roping, calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding and wild cow milking. Our speciality act is Keith Isley who is the 1999-2002 PRCA speciality act of the year and the 2001 PRCA comedy act of the year. We're excited to have an entertainer of this quality at our rodeo.
"There are numerous guys and gals who will be here who have competed at the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas. Brock Andrus from St. George, JC Sanders from South Weber, Nate Baldwin from Rigby, Idaho and a lot of others will be here.
"There will be a rodeo dance after the Friday and Saturday performances at the pavilion. The music will be provided by Joel. This dance is free to the public and everyone is welcome.
"We are also participating in a fund raiser with the Emery High Drill Team, they will be raffling off a half of a beef, cut and wrapped each night. Castle Valley Ranch donated the steer for this fund raiser. There will be a full selection of concessions sold at the rodeo as well.
"We anticipate sell outs both nights and encourage rodeo fans to buy tickets in advance to guarantee a seat. Tickets are available at local stores and businesses including: Headquarters, Gillys, Food Ranch, Emery County Treasurer's Office, Emery County Recreation Department, High Velocity Sports and BKs Stop and Shop in Emery County and Intermountain Farmers in Price. The San Rafael Pro Rodeo committee is excited to bring such top notch rodeo action to Emery County. We hope everyone will come out and support the local cowboys and watch some rising stars as well. It's impossible to bring an event of this size to the area without the help of many volunteers.
"We guarantee those attending will have a good time," said organizers. The winners of the "What Emery County Means to Me," essay contest will also be announced at the Friday rodeo.