Professional barrel racers consider the annual Linn County Fair Rodeo at Mound City as one of the best in the country.
Rodeo committee members recently accepted awards signification of that honor from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA).
Presentation was made at Las Vegas’ National Finals Rodeo to John Teagarden, LaCygne; Scott Lindell, Prescott and Dusty Moore, LaCygne.
The award acknowledges the Linn County Fair Rodeo as the WPRA Small Rodeo of the Year.
“That’s for professional rodeos with added money of $5,000 or less,” Teagarden pointed out.
More than 50 percent of 644 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-approved rodeos fall into the small rodeo category, officials said.
Mandan Rodeo Days, Mandan, North Dakota, was honored as WPRA Rodeo of the Year in the medium category.
California Rodeo Salinas, Salinas, California, was recognized as WPRA Large Rodeo of the Year.
Mound City has been home to the professional rodeo for the past 72 years, with rodeos known there years before.
“The two performances of the Linn County Fair Rodeo are a highlight of the nine-day county fair,” Teagarden said. “It truly is one of the most anticipated events in the county of about 9,500 people.”
Linn County Fair and Rodeo President Kelly Carbon, Mound City, said, “The award is a much-appreciated recognition for our community of spectators, sponsors and fair board members.”
“Linn County’s excellent facilities, enthusiastic crowds, contestant hospitality and attention to ground conditions all factored into selection as the WPRA Small Rodeo of the Year” according to Cindy Gillespie, Ransom.
Gillespie is the Prairie Circuit (Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska) WPRA Director and a member of the WPRA Board of Directors.
Managing the rodeo arena surface of the multi-use arena to optimize performance is a consistent challenge.
“Aggressively maintaining the arena crown and ongoing drainage improvements are especially appreciated by the rodeo contestants,” Teagarden said.
In addition, rodeo committeemen are most conscientious in hand raking around barrels during barrel racing competitions.
A barbecue supper has been hosted by the rodeo committee for contestants and sponsors after each performance since 1990.
“It’s one of our ways to say thanks to those who make the rodeo possible,” Teagarden said.
The annual Linn County Fair Rodeo is on the second weekend in August. It has featured many of the award winning PRCA specialty acts throughout the years.
New Frontier Rodeo, Gypsum, produces the rodeo with Troy Goodridge, Uniontown, as the announcer.
To increase awareness of professional rodeo, the rodeo committee led an effort to form the Eastern Kansas Pro Rodeo Series in 1984.
“With Mound City, Coffeyville and Eureka, now there are six performances in nine days in an 80-mile radius,” Teagarden said.
The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association is one of the largest rodeo sanctioning bodies in the world.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the association for riders 18 and over, has more than 3,000 members. They’re from the United States, Canada and Australia.
Members annually compete for nearly $5 million in total prize money at WPRA rodeos in the United States and Canada.
As the world’s oldest women’s organization, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association has been celebrating 70 years in 2018.
Majority of the WPRA’s barrel racing are in conjunction with PRCA events such as Mound City.
The top 15 contestants at the end of the rodeo season are invited to compete at the National Finals Rodeo.
The WPRA also has an All Women’s Division which sanctions rodeos exclusively for women. These all-women rodeos feature breakaway calf roping, tie-down calf roping, team roping, bareback riding, bull riding and barrel racing.
Contestants count points earned in competition to qualify for the Women’s National Finals Rodeo each October in Waco, Texas.