Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old West Rodeo returns to Hailey July 2-4

Tickets on sale for Fourth of July rodeo


The Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club has been staging the Days of the Old West rodeo since 1948—and the Rangers are gearing up for one more Fourth of July roller-coaster ride around the Hailey arena in 2008.

Advance tickets are now on sale.

The 2008 Days of the Old West rodeo at Hailey Rodeo Arena is set for Wednesday through Friday, July 2-4. Pre-rodeo events begin at 7:00 p.m. nightly for the early comers with the rodeo itself at 7:30 p.m.

It's an Idaho Cowboys Association (ICA) and Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association (IMPRA) event. That means you'll see plenty of "Cowboy Christmas" competitors at the Hailey rodeo along with pretty girls and bad jokes.

Give them a pat on the back. Fuel costs are way higher this year.

"Hailey supports the rodeo. It's a big thing for the town," said longtime arena director Ted Uhrig, 75, of Shoshone, whose association with the Rangers goes back to the early days when the local club was formed to promote horsemanship.

Last year, the Days of the Old West rodeo for the third consecutive year received the distinction of "Rodeo of the Year," from the IMPRA Cowboys Association, Uhrig said.

The 61st annual Days of the Old West rodeo will resemble the last several editions, when the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club delighted the families with events like mutton bustin' and donkey roping.

Donkey roping is 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.

All you need is parental approval—and to be no more than 45 pounds in weight—to join the fun for the nightly mutton bustin'. All the participants get ribbons and there are silver dollars at stake as well.

The 27th annual Hometown Bullriding competition will be the first official rodeo event of each show. Entry fee is $25 for each daredevil. At stake is a silver belt buckle for the winning rider each night.

"We always figured it's a good way to start out our rodeo," said Uhrig about the hometown bulls.

You can sign up in advance for the special events by calling Madeline Amend at 788-4979 or 720-4534. Participants are limited.

The Wood River Lions Club will again provide food and beverages at the arena. No coolers are allowed.

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

The evening rodeo on Wednesday, July 2 is "Family Night," which means kids 12-and-under are free with a paying adult.




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