With a meager beginning, hard work of committee members, combined with outstanding producers, a pen of quality livestock, along with cowboys, cowgirls and spectators alike have made The BIG 94.5 Country Topeka PRCA Rodeo a success in just two years.
“So, it’s again time for the third annual BIG 94.5 Country Topeka PRCA Rodeo this Friday and Saturday evenings, Aug. 22 and 23,” at the North Topeka Saddle Club arena, right at the north edge of Topeka,” announced Rusty Walker, world renowned Morning Show personality-host on The BIG 94.5 Country, and rodeo committee member.
“The rodeo is growing just as we had hoped,” verified Dr. Jeff VanPetten, rodeo committee chairman serving as president of the North Topeka Saddle Club.
“We are excited to make it to year number three,” added VanPetten from Meriden Animal Clinic “Ever since our first year, we’ve seen more and more businesses wanting to be involved with the rodeo.
“There was a great turnout for our first year’s rodeo, and last year Saturday night’s rodeo performance had a standing room only crowd. Based on early interest, we expect this year’s rodeo to be even bigger and better. Folks definitely love professional rodeo,” insisted VanPetten, noting that the rodeo benefits the North Topeka Saddle club, a 501c3 organization which hosts youth and community events.
“Both Friday and Saturday evenings, at 8 o’clock, the rodeo chutes will be filled with broncs and bulls again supplied by Silver Creek Rodeo Company to take on athletes in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA),” said Walker, pointing out that top contestants from throughout the country have already entered, guaranteeing the largest number of cowboys and cowgirls the rodeo has ever had.
“The PRCA is an organization whose members compete in rodeos throughout North America. In December of each year, the top 15 money earning competitors in each event advance to the National Final Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, also known as the ‘Super Bowl of Rodeo,’” Walker noted.
“Several cowboys and cowgirls entered in this year’s Topeka rodeo have competed at the national finals, and a number of the contestants will be here to enhance their chances of qualifying for that major competition,” she commented.
The BIG 94.5 Country Topeka PRCA Rodeo is to feature traditional rodeo events including saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, tie-down calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.
“This rodeo wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors,” VanPetten emphasized. “We are thrilled that WIBW Radio and Hollywood Casino agreed to continue their support as major sponsors.
“Many local businesses have also become involved, and are helping bring this event to the capital city,” VanPetten said.
Each night, the rodeo will feature a different theme. “Friday, Aug. 22, is Patriot Night, sponsored by R Bar B of Topeka. American flags will be given out to the first 600 through the gate. Each flag is to be numbered, and one lucky rodeo fan will win a new pair of boots from R Bar B,” Walker said.
Saturday, Aug. 23, has been designated as Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night for breast cancer awareness, Walker pointed out.
“Saturday’s performance is also the night of The BIG 94.5 Country’s $10,000 Golden Horseshoe Toss,” Walker continued. “Qualified contestants will have a chance to throw a competition size horseshoe in the rodeo arena. A ringer will win them $10,000.”
There are various ways to qualify to be a contestant in the Golden Horse Shoe Toss with details at www.94country.com. However, one method will be during a live remote broadcast of The BIG 94.5 Country Thursday afternoon, Aug. 21, at R Bar B, located at 3256 Northeast 39th Street, Topeka, with additional information at www.rbarb.com.
“In addition to the rodeo, there is also an event hosted by The BIG 94.5 Country to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Walker related.
“On Saturday morning, Aug. 23, from 8 o’clock to noon, a Cowboy Breakfast is scheduled at B & B Backyard, right behind Bill’s Diner, just south of 24 Highway at Kansas Avenue in North Topeka. Come enjoy a Cowboy Platter with scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy with sausage and bacon for a donation all benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” invited Walker, who will have her “Shorty the Wonder Horse” there, and will also host the family event featuring a variety of games for the kids..
Additional rodeo committee members include Shane Sommars, general manager of Briggs Dodge; Jo Turner; Luann Crist; Jay Domer; and Lisa Haag, North Topeka Saddle Club member and advisor for the Shawnee County 4H Horse Club.
Compete information about The BIG 94.5 Country Topeka PRCA Rodeo, August 22-23, is at www.facebook.com/TheTopekaPrcaRodeo and www.topekaprcarodeo.com.