GERRY - For the fifth consecutive year the Painted Pony Rodeo Company, stock contractors for the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department's annual PRCA rodeo, have had stock chosen for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
This year it was their 7-year-old mare, NY Mega Millions, who was chosen as one of the 20 top saddle broncs in the nation and made the 2,800-mile trip from their ranch in Lake Luzerne to perform at the nationally televised 10-day event last month. Often called the World Series of rodeo, the NFR brings the top 15 cowboys and cowgirls nationally in each rodeo event, based on their earnings throughout the year, to vie for a total purse of more than $6.1 million.
Shawn and Shana Graham, the husband and wife owners of Painted Pony Championship Rodeo Company, made the trip with the mare and say they were honored to have her chosen, as only the best bucking horses and bulls from across the country are picked by a vote of the rodeo cowboys.
Painted Pony Championship Rodeo’s saddle bronc NY Mega Millions shows why she has been voted one of the top saddle broncs in the nation.
Photo by Casey Martin Photography
NY Mega Millions made her first appearance in Las Vegas in the fourth round of the 10-round event where a Nebraska cowboy, Cort Scheer, rode her for 80 points, which helped him to a ninth-place finish in the rodeo with winnings of nearly $30,000. Scheer qualified for this event by winning more than $98,000 for the 2012 season.
The Grahams purchased the mare from a Montana cowboy four years ago and she has quickly made a name for herself. She performed at last year's Gerry rodeo and Shawn Graham says she will be back to Gerry again this August, giving area rodeo fans a chance to see an NFR horse in action.
The Grahams and their rodeo stock will be on the road for the next two months as they head for Madison Square Garden for a bull-riding event before heading to the First Frontier Championships in Harrisburg, Pa., and on to Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida.
The annual Gerry rodeo, the major fund raising event for the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department, will be celebrating its 69th consecutive year with five performances from July 31 through Aug. 3. It is the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi and will feature approximately 130 cowboys and cowgirls competing for $35,000 in prize money in the seven rodeo events.