Huge Crowd Witnesses Final Event

The 74th annual Gerry Volunteer Fire Department rodeo came to a close on Saturday night with plenty of action from some of the 230 pro cowboys and cowgirls from 30 states. P-J photos by Chad Ecklof

GERRY — One of the largest crowds in recent years turned out to witness the exciting competition in the closing performance of the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department’s 74th annual rodeo, which featured more than 230 pro cowboys and cowgirls from 30 states vying for a piece of the nearly $50,000 in prize money along with the coveted set of Montana Silversmith spurs that the fire department awards to the winner of each event.

The bareback bronc event had two outstanding rides as Luke Herbert, College Grove, Tennessee, scored 74 points on Rockstar While Dalton Jones, Ballston Spa, New York, rode George’s Bad Cat for 69 points. However, these rides were only good for third and fourth place for the week, as other cowboys had rides of 82 and 83, with the 83-point ride by Ethan Anderpont, Deridder, Louisiana, on Thursday night placing first.

Eddie Parlier of Johnson, Tennessee took a lot of money out of the pocket of Rochelle, Georgia’s Ray Hostetler as he posted a ride of 76.5 to tie Hostetler’s score made on opening night for first place for the week.

Two Tennessee ropers, John Alley of Adams and Clark Adcock of Smithville, guaranteed themselves of first-place money in the team roping event as they roped their steer’s horns and hind legs in the fastest time of the week at 5.5 seconds, surpassing the previous leading time by three-10ths of a second.

The tie-down roping event had four cowboys tie their calves successfully with Dawson Turner, Sidney, Arkansas, posting the evening’s fastest time at 10.2 seconds. However, Justin Thigpen, Waycross, Georgia, was close behind with a 10.5 time which, when combined with his time in the first go-round, gave him a total of 21.5 on two calves, making him the champion of this event.

Barrel racer Kaylee Gallino, who traveled from Wasta, South Dakota and is the top ranked barrel racer in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, posted a very fast time circling the barrels in 14.58 seconds. However, her run left her one-10th of a second behind the championship 14.48 time of Christina Mulford, Franklinville, New Jersey, on Friday night.

Again, the bulls that contractor Shawn Graham brought from their Lake Luzerne ranch proved too much for the cowboys as there were no qualified rides in the closing performance. Only two cowboys were able to stay aboard a bull for the required eight seconds during the week with Austin Beaty, Bedford, Virginia, having the high score at 82 points. The other successful ride was by Will Crain of St. Peter, Illinois, who scored 79 points on Thursday night.

Chef Bruce Gustafson and his wife Paula and their kitchen crew reported that more than 900 dinners were served on the closing evening, bringing the four-night total to nearly 3,000 dinners. Attendance figures won’t be available for the rodeo performances until later, but rodeo announcer Greg Simas says it is the best attendance he has seen in his seven years of coming to Gerry.

Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell expressed his thanks to the 200 volunteers and to all the rodeo sponsors who make the rodeo possible. He added that this event is so important to the area as all proceeds go to support the efforts of the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department in their efforts for provide excellent fire and EMS protection.

Atwell also expressed special thanks to the Dave Warren Auto Group for their donation of a two-year lease on a 2018 Dodge Ram pickup truck. The winner of this award, whose name was drawn on closing night, was Sonny Burns of Jamestown.

The final results for all events and the total money won by each competitor, as well as the name of the cowboy who is named the All-Around cowboy, an award which goes to the cowboy who wins the most money while competing in at least two events, will be available on Monday

The rodeo committee will begin next month to plan for next year’s special event in which the rodeo will celebrate its 75th consecutive year of bringing true professional rodeo to Western New York. Additional information regarding the rodeo is available year-round at www.gerryrodeo.org

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