It’s the silver anniversary and Junction City Rodeo coordinators are going all out for this year’s competition July 20-21.
“We’re excited to welcome a full lineup of entertainment complementing Kraft Rodeo Company’s outstanding livestock,” said Darryl Blocker, rodeo ramrod.
Performances are at the Geary County Fairgrounds, Junction City, starting at 7 o’clock each evening with several additional features planned.
Designated as Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night, the Friday, July 20, rodeo will benefit cancer research, recognizing cancer sufferers.
The Silver Buckle Drill Team kicks off the evening and the rodeo grand entry is at 7:30.
Cowboys and cowgirls from through the Midwest will compete in traditional rodeo events.
That includes bareback bronc riding, ranch style bronc riding, bull riding, mini bull riding, cowgirls’ barrel race, calf roping, breakaway roping, team roping.
Kraft Rodeo Company at Abbyville has one of the top strings of livestock in the country, Blocker said.
There’ll be special kid events each night including calf scramble, boot scramble and mutton busting.
Highlight of both evenings’ rodeos is to be the return performance of Amanda Payne of the One Armed Bandit Company.
Rodeo dances follow each performance at Coyote’s Saloon
Saturday morning, July 21, at 10 o’clock, a Special Needs Rodeo is planned.
Everybody has been invited to wear red, white and blue for Military Appreciation Night Saturday evening.
All active service men and women and those formerly serving for freedom of the country are to be recognized.
The new Junction City Rodeo queen is to be crowned Saturday evening by outgoing Miss Rodeo Junction City Morganne Kruse.
The Silver Buckle Drill Team began in 2006 and is based out of McPherson, where the group is supported by the McPherson saddle club. The riders travel all over Kansas and into Missouri performing at different venues including professional rodeos, festivals, county fairs, and parades.
The current team is young with the average age being 15-years-old. These riders and their horses work to carry on the tradition of speed, precision, and expertise in entertaining.
This season’s riders are: Claire Jordan, Erica Peterman, Clover Parsons, Caylee Elliott, Alexis Jennings, Jenny Bruton, and Mariah Peterman.
Since 1988, John Payne has thrilled rodeo fans around the world. He rides a variety of horses and mules in his exhibition of genuine cowboy skills with longhorn steers, buffalo and wild horses.
Payne shares the spotlight with son Lynn and daughter Amanda as the One Armed Bandit Company.
Amanda J Payne, of Cherokee decent, saw first light on a reservation in Pawnee, Oklahoma, on May 2, 1978.
Mandy started riding horses as an infant where she learned to keep up or get left behind. As the only girl to follow in her dad’s boot steps, Amanda stuck out on her own at the age of 18.
Her son Patrick, the eldest and already quite the roper, daughter Liza Jane and daughter Rowdy, the newest member of the tribe, can often be seen with Mandy.
Special needs children four years and older and their siblings have been invited to participate in the Saturday morning events. That’ll include steer roping, hand-rocked bareback riding, horse carriage rides, and arena rides with rodeo queen candidates.
Miss Rodeo Junction City 2017-2018 Morganne Kruse is the daughter of Jamie and Teri Kruse from Morrill. She is a junior at Sabetha High School and is president of the FFA chapter.
When Morganne isn’t working, she’s riding her retired racehorse training for the Retired Racehorse Project in October. She plans to attend Colorado State University majoring in equine sciences and then have her own horse training center.