It’d 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 of 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 fifth annual Eureka Pro Rodeo the best ever with three completely filled days of activities climaxed each evening with Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) competition Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19, 20 and 21,” announced Jamie Nelson, who’s been instrumental in getting the event off the ground and developing it into a rodeo that many of the best cowboys and cowgirls anticipate.
Verification is that the Eureka Pro Rodeo was honored as the Most Improved Rodeo in the PRCA Prairie Circuit last year.
The Eureka Pro Rodeo and has generated nearly $28,000 for local charities.
“We’re especially happy to be part of the Eastern Kansas Pro Rodeo Circuit with rodeos at Coffeyville and Mound City. Most of the contestants competing at those rodeos will be at Eureka competing for points to win circuit awards for placing at all three rodeos,” explained Nelson, who noted that all of the rodeos are sanctioned by the Prairie Circuit and Great Lakes Circuit, of the PRCA.
At 8 o’clock, each evening a grand entry with rodeo contestants, officials, committee members and royalty will feature Ole Glory, and an inspirational rendition of the national anthem.
Friday evening’s performance honors the military serving for this country’s democratic freedoms, while Saturday’s performance is Shrine Night.
Sunday 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.
Participation from throughout the community and many miles away is expected for the rodeo parade down Eureka’s Main Street, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 20, 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.
A parade feature will be the big Percheron team owned and driven by Nelson. Those horses have already become symbolic of the Eureka Pro Rodeo, for vast promotion efforts and participation in rodeo activities.
Wayne Baily, Hamilton, will serve as Grand Marshall for this year’s parade.
A lifetime cowboy, Bailey is also a committeeman for the Eureka Pro Rodeo. After being a high school rodeo champion in four events, and serving his country in the Vietnam Conflict, Bailey returned to be a Chase and Greenwood County rancher.
Marrying his toughest youth horse show competitor Marcia Stout, the couple continued to rodeo throughout the country. They raised two sons, Buck and Wes, who became rodeo champions as well. Grandchildren are now in the rodeo spotlight.
Continuing to rodeo beyond retirement time for many, Bailey was renowned as a saddle bronc rider and steer wrestler, uniquely winning the steer wrestling event in the Eastern Kansas Pro Rodeo Series in 1984.
This year, Bailey was on the winning team at the ranch rodeo in Latham. “I’m proud to still be competing successfully in rodeos at age 69 and plan on being back next year,” he summarized that feat.
Information about the Eureka Pro Rodeo this weekend can be found on Facebook.