Friday, June 29, 2012

Bulls, broncs and lots of smiles

Days of the Old West Rodeo set for July 2-4 in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

A cowboy goes for the gusto in the bronc riding competition at last year’s rodeo. Photo by Mountain Express

The 67th annual Sawtooth Rangers Days of the Old West Rodeo will take place July 2-4, Monday through Wednesday, in the new and improved Hailey Rodeo Arena.

Last year's rodeo sold out on the last two nights, so spectators are advised by the rodeo committee to buy tickets early.

The Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association rodeo has long been a focal point for the city on Fourth of July, taking place alongside many other events during the holiday week. Rodeo competition begins each night at 7:30 p.m., with bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wresting, barrel racing, breakaway roping, ranch bronc riding, team roping and bull riding.

Several pre-rodeo events are scheduled. The children's mutton bustin' event is set for 7 p.m. on July 2 and 3. This popular event features kids under 40 pounds riding sheep as though they were bulls. Hometown bull riding will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, giving locals an opportunity to try their luck on a full-size rodeo bull. As of last week, there was only one person signed up for the event. The Freestyle Reining women's competition will take place on Monday, July 2, and Tuesday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. The 2013 rodeo queen's coronation will take place on July 4 at 6:30 p.m. To register for pre-rodeo events, call 788-4979.

Red Eye Stock Productions will provide animals for the event.

July 2 is family night, when kids under 10 get in free with a paying adult.

Since its inception more than 60 years ago, the Hailey Rodeo has been a community-supported event that raises money for good causes. Last year, the rodeo committee gave $10,000 in proceeds to the Senior Connection, with smaller donations going to high school sports teams, regional rodeo events and the Hailey Fireworks Fund.

"Everything that goes on at the rodeo is done by nonprofits, and all the money that comes in stays in the valley," said rodeo organizer Lorna Hazelton.

This year, the Kiwanis Club and Lions Club will staff the concession stands, with 4-H Club members parking cars.

Hazelton said the halftime entertainment this year will include the EHCAPA riders (Apache spelled backwards), a group of bareback riders who dress in traditional native garb and perform stunts each night.

Rodeo tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available at all Atkinsons' Markets and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce before the event. For more information' call 788-1012.

Tony Evans:

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