The pressure’s on for top cowboys and cowgirls competing in the United Rodeo Association (URA).
“Top 15 contestants in each of the nine sanctioned events throughout the past year will compete in the URA Finals this weekend,” according to Muff McGee, longtime URA secretary.
Set for Domer Arena at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, performances are planned Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4-5, McGee informed.
The rodeo is Friday and Saturday evenings, Nov. 3 and 4, beginning 7 o’clock, with the Sunday matinee starting at noon.
Additional URA activities have been scheduled as well. A rodeo judging clinic is Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, cowboy church is Sunday morning at 9 o’clock, and awards will be presented followed Sunday afternoon’s rodeo.
“The United Rodeo Association is a non-profit organization established in 1962 that sanctions rodeos primarily in the nine state area of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin,” McGee said.
Events include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, women’s barrel racing, calf roping, forty and over calf roping, breakaway roping, steer wrestling and team roping.
“With more than 800 members each of the past few years, the URA annually approves or co-approves an average of more than 100 rodeos,” McGee said.
“Our strength is in giving solid support to regional rodeo within our established territory,” she emphasized. “We continue to grow on that basis.
“Our primary goal is to work cooperatively with committees, stock contractors, members and contestants for our mutual success,” McGee continued.
The all-around title race is very close among three competitors this year, McGee pointed out.
Jesse Boos, White Cloud, competes in breakaway roping and team roping, and is also in the lead for the Rookie of the Year title.
Bailie Schuldt, Leon, Iowa, competes in breakaway roping, barrel racing and also team ropes, but is not team roping at the finals.
Danni Clover, Clifton Hill, Missouri, rides in breakaway roping and barrel racing, but did not qualify for the finals in barrels.
Dillon Gross will call the Western action as the rodeo announcer. Todd Pettigrew, Sedalia, Missouri, will entertain as the rodeo clown, while the bullfighters protecting cowboys are Dakota Knight, Lebo, and Chris Smith, Dearborn, Missouri.
Bob and Alta Courtney, aka Pastor Pudge and Sister Sludge, will present the cowboy church services. They perform at the Branson Center Stage Grill in Branson, Missouri.