Be difficult to find a more appropriate locale for rodeo action than right in the heart of cattle country, Greenwood County smack dab in the middle the world renowned native Bluestem grasslands’ Flint Hills of Kansas.
The Western action is set this weekend in the county seat town of Eureka, and it’s a full slate of entertainment and true style cowboy and cowgirl competition featuring those who live it every day in their cattle country profession.
“Our committee has pulled out all stops to make the fourth annual Eureka Pro Rodeo the best ever with two completely filled days of activities climaxed each evening with Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) competition Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14-15,” announced Jamie Nelson, who’s been instrumental in getting the event off the ground and developing it into a rodeo that a number of the best cowboys and cowgirls in the anticipate competing at.
“We’re especially happy to be part of the Eastern Kansas Pro Rodeo Circuit with the Linn County Fair Rodeo, which hosted their rodeo last weekend at Mound City. Most of the contestants who competed there will be at Eureka competing for points to win circuit awards for placing at both rodeos,” explained Nelson, who noted that both rodeos are sanctioned by the Prairie Circuit and Great Lakes Circuit, of the PRCA.
Verification of packed two days is a Meet-and-Greet kickoff Friday morning, Aug. 14, 10 o’clock, at the Eureka Public Library with rodeo queens, princesses, stock contractor, clown and bull fighter in attendance for everyone to visit.
Gates open for the rodeo at the Eureka Saddle Club Arena, both nights at 6 o’clock, with a Mutton Busting, best described as sheep riding, beginning at 7 o’clock, for cowboys and cowgirls of the future, those tykes six years of age and under.
At 8 o’clock, both evenings, a grand entry with rodeo contestants, officials, committee members and royalty will feature our country’s flags, and an inspirational rendition of the national anthem. “The Star Spangled Banner” will be presented by Angie Gulick of Eureka on Friday, and 6-year-old CJ Gracy, Goddard, will sing it Saturday evening.
“United Pro Rodeo, Palestine, Texas, has an outstanding set of rodeo livestock and will return as our stock contractor, because of the vast appeal to everyone last year,” Nelson noted.
Up and coming demanded rodeo announcer Scott Grover will call the western action, with special entertainment by renowned clown-funnyman Robbie Hodges.
Trick roping, a contest event in rodeos during the early part of the previous century, is nearly a lost art, actually seen quite infrequently today. “We are pleased to have Ketch Weaver contracted to present trick roping at both of our performances, so spectators can get a real feel of the entire sport of rodeo,” Nelson said.
Friday has been designated Knock Out Cancer Night with all contestants and everybody in attendance asked to wear pink for cancer awareness and support of cancer cures. The Eureka Rodeo Queen and Princess Coronation will be a highlight of the performance
A special memorial tribute to one of the founding fathers of the Eureka Saddle Club, Albert Butler, will take place both evenings.
Participation from throughout the community and many miles away is expected for the rodeo parade down Eureka’s Main Street, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 15, beginning at 2 o’clock. “Bring your horse, your classic car, build a float, be in the parade, or be sure to get the best seat along the route, because it’ll be a good one,” Nelson promised.
There’ll be a Kids Rodeo Olympic, coordinated by the Madison Ag Team for those 10 and under, at 6 o’clock, Saturday.
“Love to the Rescue” is theme for Shrine Night, with special recognition of Shriners and Shrine Children. The Scottish Highland Bagpipes will honor Shriners Children’s Hospitals for their continuing dedicated service.
Saturday’s rodeo will include presentation of handmade boots by Vidal Bustamante, to Joe Morgan, the boot raffle winner. Drawing for the gun raffle will reveal that recipient as well.
Clint Gilbert will present a cowboy concert as post rodeo entertainment, Saturday, beginning at 10 o’clock, at the Half Dollar in downtown Eureka.
Queen’s court features Miss Rodeo Kanas Abbey Pomeroy of Newton, Eureka Rodeo Queen Shayla Lowry, Junction City, and Eureka Rodeo Princess Cassidy, of Emporia, along with 2015-16 Eureka Rodeo Princess candidates Kinsey Wiseman, 14, Howard, and Mandy Jo Wainwright, 10, Council Grove.
The title of Miss Rodeo Eureka will again go to Shayla Lowry, the 2014 Eureka Rodeo Queen, who agreed to extend her term through 2015. She is a senior at Kansas State University, majoring in animal science.
Princess contestants are to be judged on horsemanship, interview, speech, modeling and ticket sales.