A Saturday Night For The Family Set At Strong City Rodeo Grounds

It’ll be “a family affair” from start to finish.

Initially, one likely won’t understand that analysis, but truly the third annual Flint Hills Bull Blowout at Strong City, Saturday evening , Sept. 8, will be family oriented from every aspect.

Kim Reyer, his wife, Lana, their son, Wyatt, and their daughters and sons-in-law, Kelsey and Adam Spain, and Jenna and Kyle Gibb and their children, Tate and Karlie Gibb (the Reyers’ grandchildren) ,are the brainchild of the event.

“I used to compete in bull riding, and it’s always been very close to my heart,” Reyer said. “I’d thought about having a bull riding for a long time, and then I finally decided to undertake one three years ago. All of my family has been behind the effort from the start and helping in every way possible.”

Main sponsors of the event are actually Reyer’s own entities: Reyer’s Country Store, right on Highway 50 just across from the bull competition arena, and Flint Hills Genetics, a bucking bull breeding operation also owned in a partnership of Reyer and his sons-in-law.

Especially satisfying and important to Reyer is that several of the bulls coming out of the chutes for the competition have been produced by his family breeding program.

Additionally noteworthy, those bucking bulls are a family in themselves. “We started out with a few select bucking-bred cows, mated them to top bucking bulls and are now reaping success with some really top bucking bulls. They’re all from the same family, go back to our original cow family and are related, some are quite close relatives, actually,” Reyer explained.

Furthering the family aspect of it all, the Flint Hills Genetics origin came from Jimmy Crowther’s bucking bull breeding program, which Crowther started more than 30 years ago while he was competing as a highly-successful bull rider.

Crowther and his wife, Darla, and their daughter, Jacey, operate JC Rodeo Company and New Frontier Rodeo Company with locations at both Roxbury and Gypsum.

“Most of the bulls for our Blowout will be from Jimmy’s own breeding program, and they all originated from a family of bucking bulls started by the late Charlie Plummer of Sayre, Oklahoma, in the 1950s .

“So, in reality the bulls here at Strong City, September 8, will represent a family of bucking bull breeding going back more than half a century,” Reyer said.

But, there’s much “more to the story.” While, emphasis of the evening is on bull riding, and the top-athlete-cowboys from throughout the Midwest who mount them, there’s a full slate of entertainment that’s every niche family-oriented to a tee.

Wesley Engelkes, best known as “Hippie The Clown,” will serve as the barrel man during the performance, but he’ll be chiding with the kids and every mom and dad in the bleachers and around the ring as well all evening.

“Hippie is certainly a family man following in his dad’s boots as a cowboy. But, Hippie is a clown by profession, and  his wife, Rebekah, and two their five-year-old daughter, Emma, and three-year-old son, Wyatt, are the most important aspect of his life. Hippie’s family generally travels with him and will likely be here Saturday night,” Reyer said.

A muttin’ bustin’ for children six years of age and under to ride sheep will kick off Saturday night’s activities at 6:30. Advance entries are required by calling 620-273-6229.

During intermission, a chicken scramble is scheduled for children 10 years of age and under.

Add to the family aspects of the evening, a mechanical bull is to be on the rodeo grounds, and kids of all ages from toddlers to great grandparents will have the opportunity to mount and get a “close-to-real” firsthand experience of what it’s like to ride a bucking bull.

“This mechanical bull is manually operated, so it will only buck as hard, fast and rank as the operator cues it. Therefore, even the smallest children, accompanied by their parents, can ‘ride the rodeo bull,’ without the ‘real danger,’ that those cowboys in the competition face,” Reyer clarified.

Additionally, country music star Rusty Rierson is to sing cowboy songs to the delight of everyone with even the slightest tinges of cowboy blood in their soul.

Kim Reyer, Hippie The Clown, and bull rider Ricky Ritter, Augusta, who founded the Ride Rank For A Cure, which the Blowout is to benefit,  will explain the sport of bull riding and provide complimentary tickets to students when they visit elementary classrooms at Strong City, Cottonwood Falls and Marion on Friday afternoon.

Reyer indicated it might be possible for the threesome to visit other schools as well by contacting him at 620-273-6229.

Additional information about “the family affair,” the third annual Flint Hills Bull Blowout, Saturday, Sept. 8, at Strong City is available by calling 620-273-6229 or checking out details at  www.flinthillsbullblowout.webs.com.