Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Changes in the Hailey rodeo, and tickets go on sale

New pre-rodeo events are planned

Hailey's Days of the Old West rodeo is returning to its roots and making some important changes this year.

Tickets are currently on sale for the 58th annual Days of the Old West rodeo, a Hailey staple since 1947. It is produced by the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club.

Rodeo dates are Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4, each night at 7 p.m. at Hailey Rodeo Grounds.

After being a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) event for the last three years, the annual Independence Day rodeo in Hailey has returned to its former affiliation.

The rodeo will again be an Idaho Cowboys Association (IGA) and Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (IMPRA) three-day event.

That's pretty much where the Sawtooth Rangers stood back in 1972 when they helped form the Eastern Idaho Rodeo Association and thus dropped the Hailey rodeo from professional to semi-pro status.

Former EIRA president Ted Uhrig of Shoshone is returning to his job as arena director for the Hailey rodeo—a job he held for many years prior to his retirement nearly 10 years ago.

Another big change: The new Hailey rodeo stock producer is Jay Hogan of Terreton. Hogan replaces Slash T. Rodeo Co. of Gooding, whose owners Pat and Juanita O'Maley provided the stock for the Hailey rodeo for the last 19 years.

This year, the Rangers are hoping to attract more locals by staging special pre-rodeo events at 6:30 p.m.

The 24th annual Hometown Bullriding competition will continue prior to each show. Entry fee is $25 for each daredevil. At stake is a silver belt buckle for the winning rider.

Call Bob Hoffman at 788-8534 or 208-866-2375 to get an application for Hometown Bulls.

Donkey roping precedes the Sunday performance. It's a hilarious event where two-person teams saddle the donkey. One person rides to the end of the arena and ropes a calf. Be sure to bring your own saddle.

Mutton bustin' for kids will take place Sunday at 6:30 p.m. You must have parent approval to participate.

Queen freestyle horsemanship takes place prior to the rodeo Saturday, and the crowning of the rodeo queen will take place Monday night prior to the 7 p.m. holiday rodeo show.

Just sign up prior to the rodeo each evening, starting at 6 p.m. Remember that entries are limited for the kids' events.

Rodeo tickets are available at Atkinsons' in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue, or at the door General admission tickets are $10 adults and $5 for kids 12-and-under. Reserved seating is $15. Chute seating is $12.

Family Night is Sunday, July 3. Kids 12-and-under are free with a paying adult.

Sawtooth Rangers officers in charge of staging this year's event are president Bill Bobbitt, vice president Bob Hoffman, treasurer Michelle Bobbitt and secretary Shelly Shoemaker.

Directors besides Ted Uhrig are Bill Sherbine, Richard Smith, Ryan Thomas, Vivian Bobbitt and Bud Amend.

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