2019 Logan County Fair

First rodeo in 40 years draws large crowd

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[August 07, 2019]  A crowd of around 1,500 filled the grandstand on a beautiful Friday evening at the Logan County Fair and they would not be disappointed. The Wooten Rodeo Company delivered an exciting performance that was sponsored by Jim Xamis Ford Lincoln Mercury.

The rodeo performers featured several riders from Illinois in addition to others from Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas and as far as South Carolina. One rider was number four in the World National Championships.

The rodeo events tested the skills and speed of cowboys and cowgirls and included Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping, Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, and Cowgirl Barrel Racing.

As the events began, the announcer asked the crowd to get rowdy as they cheered on the riders.

In the team roping event, two riders mounted on horses had to rope a steer in the fastest time. The announcer said the riders had three tries to rope the steer. A team from Missouri completed this task in an eye-blinking 4.2 seconds.

Steer wrestling involved a horse mounted rider chasing a steer and dropping onto the steer then wrestling it to the ground by grabbing its horns. This feat requires strength and leverage.

With tie-down roping, the cowboys ran after a calf then roped its neck. Once the calf was roped, the rider had to get off his horse and pick up the calf, then keep it from running away by tying its legs together.

The announcer said the calf must remain tied for at least five seconds and if a calf got out of the rope, the rider did not receive any points.

A remarkable head-shaking 14.5 seconds was the best time for this event, which included an age 40 and over category.

Cowgirls also had a chance at roping the calves and the best time for this event was…, get this, 14.2 seconds.

The bull riding competitors attempted to stay mounted on a bucking bull for eight seconds. Maybe refreshing, lighter, cooler air isn’t best for everything. These bulls were frisky. All the riders were quickly bucked off the bull almost as soon as it left the pen, with no one staying on for more than a few seconds.

Though the bareback riding may sound less challenging, it produced some exciting action as the riders began the ride with their feet placed above the horse’s shoulders. During the eight second ride, the cowboy must grasp the rigging with just one hand.

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In cowgirl barrel racing, the horse and riders completed a cloverleaf pattern around barrels trying for the fastest time, which was 12.226 seconds. This category had two contestants from Lincoln.

Rodeo Clown Eugene Fowler provided some light moments as he bantered with the announcer and joked with the audience.

In between events, classic rock was played with the crowd singing along and filling in the lyrics when the music was stopped. The crowd was encouraged to make some noise as they sang and cheered.

Children enjoyed the bucking broncos.

Emily Davenport loved the barrel racing, especially since her sister-in-law Amy Davenport was one of the racers.

Fairgoer Angie Bobzin said she found out the last rodeo at the fair was in 1979, so it was amazing to bring it back after 40 years.

When the announcer asked the crowd if they should bring the rodeo back again, the crowd responded with rousing cheers.

The rodeo provided a night of lively and energetic entertainment as the crowd watched the rider’s daring feats.

[Angela Reiners]

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