GERRY - Perfect weather, cowboys and cowgirls from 26 states, and the outstanding stock from Painted Pony Rodeo Company gave rodeo fans a great opening night of action in the 69th annual Gerry Volunteer Fire Department's PRCA rodeo.
The saddle bronc event saw Cody Martin, who traveled across the country from Eagle, Colo., score 154 points on his two broncs to capture first place. He was followed at 147 points by James Greeson from Huntsville, Texas, and Wyatt Barstow, Springview, Neb., with 146.
The bareback bronc contest had only one cowboy with a successful ride as Brian Leddy from Roll, Oka., rode his mount for a 75-point score.
Wyatt Barslow from Springview, Neb., above, and Cody Martin of Eagle, Colo., below compete in saddle bronc riding at the Gerry Rodeo on Wednesday night. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Lisa Monacelli
In the big man's event, the steer wrestling, a Georgia cowboy, Justin Thigpen, was successful in throwing both his steers to the arena dirt in a combined time of 14.8 seconds. Brian Barefoot, Dunn, N.C, was only two-tenths of a second behind with 15.0 seconds on his two steers.
Thigpen showed his all-around skills as he was the only cowboy to succeed in the tie-down roping, tying both of his calves in a total of 20 seconds flat.
The Painted Pony Rodeo's bulls were more than a match for the cowboys as John Jacobs of Timber Lake, S.D., was the only rider to stay on for the required eight seconds, and he did it on both of his bulls to post a big lead in this event with a total of 163 points.
The cowgirls barrel racing saw very close competition as the 10 riders posted times less than two seconds apart. The fastest time went Kassie Hohenstein, a Minnesota cowgirl, at 15.38 seconds followed by Rebecca Weiner from Gloversville at 15.90.
Rodeo clown Dusty Barrett and young Dusti Stockton, who is the youngest trick rider in PRCA rodeo today, combined skill and comedy on their Roman Riding ponies to provide one of the most entertaining acts ever in the Gerry arena.
The rodeo continues nightly today, Friday, and Saturday with an afternoon matinee scheduled on Saturday. The Saturday matinee will be preceded by a free children's rodeo at 11 a.m.with registration at 10:30 a.m.
The beef barbecue dinners will be served each evening from 5 to 8 p.m. in the air-conditioned dining room.
Additional information is available at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847.
All proceeds go to support the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department as they respond to 350 fire and emergency calls each year.