Changes to the bigger and better are on tap for The BIG 94.5 Country Topeka Rodeo, according to Dr. Jeff VanPetten, Meriden veterinarian and rodeo committee chairman.
“Rodeo action is set for Friday and Saturday evenings, Aug 21-22, beginning at 8 o’clock at the North Topeka Saddle Blue Arena, 74th and North Topeka Boulevard,” VanPetten said.
In addition to sponsorship by The BIG 94.5 Country, the rodeo is presented by Hollywood Casino, and a number of other local cooperators, VanPetten emphasized.
Sanctioned by the United Rodeo Association and the Interstate Rodeo Association, Western action is to feature the seven traditional rodeo events: saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, team roping, cowgirls’ barrel racing and wild bull riding, along with over-40 tie down roping and breakaway roping.
Livestock is to be supplied by Silver Creek Rodeo Company, owned and manger Matt Williams of Arkansas City.
“Watching this rodeo continue to grow is very exciting, and we’re especially happy to announce a special incentive this year for the bull riding contestants,” VanPetten said.
“There will be a $1,000 bonus awarded to the overall winner of the weekend’s bull riding, which will really up the drama for the cowboys in that event,” said VanPetten, noting that the big check will be split evenly in case of tied scores.
Several special events are planned by The BIG 94.5 Country in conjunction with this year’s rodeo.
A Rodeo Kick-Off Party is set for 6 o’clock, Thursday evening, Aug. 20, at B&B Backyard, 2134 North Kansas Avenue, Topeka, with a barbecue supper, music and line dance lessons.
The traditional Cowboy Breakfast, catered by Puffy’s Steakhouse of Maple Hills, begins at 8 o’clock, Saturday morning, at the rodeo arena. Rusty Walker of The BIG 94.5 Country Morning Show will have Shorty the Wonder Horse there, and rodeo “slack” competition, with no admission, begins at 9 o’clock.
Funds raised from the kickoff party and breakfast are to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
During the Saturday evening performance, The BIG 94.5 Country will present a $10,000 Golden Horseshoe Contest, where two lucky rodeo fans will have an opportunity to toss a horseshoe, and win $10,000 instantly, with a “ringer.” Contestants will be drawn from pre-registered fans, and The BIG 94.5 Country on-air qualifiers.
Information about The BIG 94.5 Country Topeka Rodeo is available at www.topekarodeo.com.