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
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
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
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
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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
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.