Holding On

Gerry Rodeo, 2,000 Fans Avoid Bad Weather On Day 2

A cowboy holds on tight on the second day of the Gerry Rodeo on Thursday. P-J photo by Tim Frank

GERRY — The weatherman predicted thunderstorms, but he was proven wrong as more than 2,000 fans turned out to watch outstanding professional rodeo action under warm, clear skies for the second performance of the Gerry Fire Department’s 77th annual rodeo.

The night’s activities began as announcer Greg Simas introduced a special tribute to military members, first responders, and health care workers by having them stand to a prolonged ovation from the fans. Prayer, the national anthem, and the grand entry with all the competing cowboys and cowgirls circling the arena on horseback followed.

Bareback bronc riding kicked off the competition with seven of the nine cowboys making successful rides. Kade Sonnier of Carencro, Louisiana, posted the top score for the second straight night with an 82.5 ride. Four other cowboys posted scores in the 70s.

Steer wrestler Olin Ellsworth, Warrensburg, New York, narrowly missed winning the “big man’s” event for the second straight night as he threw his steer to the turf in 5.4 seconds, but was narrowly edged out by one-10th of a second by Zane Kilgus of Watsontown, Pennsylvania, whose time was 5.3.

Zane Kilgus then moved over to his second event of the night to team up with Drew Carnes of Hornell, New York to post the best time in the team roping event with a fast 6 seconds flat. They were followed by the father-son team from Georgia, Braxton and Brad Culpepper, who roped their steer’s horns and legs in 7.1 seconds.

A cowgirl lassos a calf during the breakaway roping event. P-J photo by Tim Frank

Only three of the 10 cowgirls were able to successfully rope their calves in the breakaway roping event with only two-10s of a second separating the top two. Danni Cloer traveled from Clifton Hill, Missouri to take first with a time of 4.2 seconds, while Kelly Jo Stein of Scottsville, New York, was second at 4.4 seconds.

Clovis Crane of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who is the only cowboy ever to win championships in four different events in the same year, posted an outstanding score pf 83 points in the classic saddle bronc competition, only to see Isaac Richard, from Eunice, Louisiana, ride for 85.5 points, the best score of the week, aboard Painted Pony’s bronc George’s Bad Cat, who has bucked at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vagas.

The tie-down roping competition was very close as only eight-10ths of a second separated the top three ropers. JC Fisher of Milton, Pennsylvania, was tops at 13.3, followed by Charlie Goerlach of Greenfield Center, New York at 14.0 and Colby Clement of Pedricktown, New Jersey at 14.6.

Four cowgirl barrel racers broke the 16-second barrier with just seven-one hundredths of a second separating the top three. Kimberly Kolibas of Belvedere, New Jersy, was first at 15.71, while Jodi Lyn Colton from Cullman, Alabama, had a 15.74 ride, followed by Ronda Casey of Plymouth, Indiana at 15.78.

The tide turned a bit in the dangerous bull riding as three cowboys posted successful rides after the bulls had thrown all 12 cowboys on opening night. Mazinho Jeremias, a cowboy who traveled several thousand miles from his home in Brazil, had the crowd on its feet as he not only stayed aboard the bull for the eight seconds, but posted an outstanding score of 83 from the judges. The score is based 50% on the performance of the rider and 50% on the bull’s bucking. Cody McCandless of Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, was second with 76 points.

A cowboy attempts to lasso a calf during the breakaway roping event on Thursday. P-J photo by Tim Frank

The rodeo continues today and Saturday at 8 p.m. with more than 200 professional cowboys and cowgirls trying to win a piece of the more than $50,000 in prize money. The barbecue beef dinners are served both evenings from 5-8 p.m. in the air-conditioned dining room. The midway, with more than 20 vendors, also opens at 5 p.m.

A free kid’s rodeo will be held on Saturday afternoon in the rodeo arena for kids ages 3-8 where they will play rodeo-related games supervised by rodeo personnel with a belt buckle awarded for the best-dressed little cowboy and cowgirl. Registration is at 3 p.m. Further information is available at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at 716-985-4847 or 1-888-985-4547.


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