GERRY- A capacity Friday night crowd at the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department's 69th annual rodeo learned much about the dedication and love for the sport.
They watched cowboys and cowgirls who have traveled from 26 states, led by Clovis Crane of Lebanon, Pa., who paid $400 to enter four different events to 72-year-old Norman Naylor, a cancer survivor from Mercersburg, Pa., who teamed up with his son in the team roping event.
Crane placed first on the night in both the bareback (75 points) and saddle bronc (70 points) competition.
Clovis Crane of Lebanon, Pa., competes in bull riding at the Gerry Rodeo on Friday night,
Photo by Lisa Monacelli
The cowboys all had outstanding performances in the bareback event as three other riders scored 70 points or better to place just behind Crane.
The tie-down ropers were also on top of their game as nine of the 12 cowboys had successful runs with Jason Steed of Rockwell, Texas, and Rob McPhail of Swartz Creek, Mich., posting the fastest time on one calf at 10.6 seconds. Both tied a second calf with McPhail beating Steed by eight-tenths of a second on the two calves.
The team ropers, however, had a rough night as only one of the eight teams was successful That time of 15.1 seconds came from the team of two Pennsylvania cowboys, Wayne Cameron from Oxford and T.R. Serio from Kennett Square.
The Painted Pony steers gave the steer wrestlers a rough time as only two of the eight entrants successfully threw their steers to the arena dirt. Chad Taylor of Eaton Rapids, Mich., posted a time of 5.9 seconds to take over first place while Casey Martin of Gettysburg, Pa., was close behind at 6.2.
The string of Painted Pony bulls came out angry and tossed all eight riders on the night. The fans were treated to some outstanding action, however, as bull fighters Ross Hill, the world champion free style bull fighter and his partner, Will Matthiew, had plenty to do in protecting the fallen cowboys.
The women's barrel racing featured very close competition with only a half second separating the 10 cowgirls. Kendra Feaser of Newburg, Pa., was the only rider to break 16 seconds as she circled the barrels in 15.96 seconds followed by Allison Serio of Kennett Square, Pa., only four-tenths of a second behind at 16 flat.
Rodeo clown Dusty Barrett and Dusti Stockton, the youngest trick rider in PRCA rodeo, again showed the fans their skill and comedy on their Roman Riding ponies in what many fans commented is one of the best specialty acts they have seen.
The rodeo continues today with a matinee at 2 p.m. followed by the closing competition at 8 p.m. as the 170 cowboys and cowgirls complete their quest for a part of the $45,000 in prize money.
The last chance to enjoy one of the beef barbecue dinners will occur from 5 to 8 p.m. between the two performances. A free children's rodeo will begin at 11 this morning for children 8 and under.