The best professional rodeo contestants in the world are anxious to get back in the arena to compete. Proof comes with the highest caliber of cowboys and cowgirls entered in record numbers for the Eureka Pro Rodeo this weekend. Serious health concerns during early part of the season caused cancelation of many of the largest rodeos in the country. “Committees are now moving forward with events attracting large numbers of outstanding rodeo contestants,” according to Jamie Nelson. “Record entries are set for the ninth annual Eureka Pro Rodeo Friday and Saturday evenings, Aug. 14-15,” said Nelson, rodeo chairman. “Our Eureka Pro Rodeo Committee was beyond excited when we received the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) contestant list,” Nelson admitted. “Several former world champions will be among the outstanding competitors at the saddle club arena east of Eureka.” There are a total of 302 entries including PRCA cowboys as well as Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) contestants. This compares to 179 entries in 2018, and 143 last year. “Cowboys and cowgirls from 24 states plus two Canadians are coming to compete in seven rodeo events,” Nelson tallied. “The numbers are great in every event,” Nelson verified. “We have 40 bull riders, so each performance with start and end with bull riding, 20 contestants each night”. Additional entries include saddle bronc riding, 34; bareback bronc riding, 14; bulldogging, 54; tie down roping, 56: team roping, 40; and cowgirls barrel racing, 48. Highlighted by National Finals Rodeo (NFR) caliber livestock, United Pro Rodeo, Palestine, Texas, is the rodeo stock contractor. Eight times PRCA Clown of the Year Justin Rumford, native of Abbyville now from Ponca City, Oklahoma, will entertain. “Where do we start when talking about the ‘big name’ contestants entered?” asked Scott Grover, rodeo announcer from Weston, Missouri. “There are at least seven world champions plus multiple past NFR qualifiers in every event,” Grover said. “Many of the currently top ranked contestants vying for qualification to the 2020 NFR will be at Eureka.” Among former world champions entered at the Eureka Pro Rodeo feature: Cowgirls barrel racing: Sherry Cervi, Marans, Arizona, four time world champion with lifetime winnings of $3.3 million. Tie down roping: Shane Hanchey, Carmine, Texas, 2013 world champion, and Caleb Schmidt, Belleville, Texas, 2015 and 2018 world champion. Team roping: Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Oklahoma, 2009 world champion heeler, and Cory Petska, Marana, Arizona, 2017 world champion heeler. Saddle bronc riding: Taos Muncy, Corona, New Mexico, 2011 world champion, and Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, 2015 world champion. Also showing saddle bronc riding skills at Eureka is Cody DeMoss, Heflin, Louisiana, 13-times NFR qualifier with $3 million earnings. Three outstanding Kansas cowboys are entered at Eureka. Cooper Martin, Alma, a three time NFR qualifier is currently 24th in the world tie down roping standings. A two time NFR qualifier, Tanner Brunner of Ramona, is currently ninth in steer wrestling. Buddy Hawkins, Columbus, is 13th in the world team roping heeler standings. Wyatt Casper, Pampa, Texas, currently ranked first in the world saddle bronc riding standings will also compete at Eureka. BryAnn Haluptzok, 20-year-old cowgirl from Tenstrike, Minnesota, won $16,500 at recent Kansas rodeos in Dodge City and Phillipsburg. She moved from 100th to 24th in the WPRA barrel racing standings with intentions to maintain that momentum at Eureka. Information can be found on Facebook at Eureka Pro Rodeo and Greenwood County Rodeo Association.
Clown - Justin Rumford
Eight times Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year Justin Rumford, Abbyville native, will entertain at the Eureka Pro Rodeo
Announcer - Scott Grover
PBR announcer and 8-time Eureka Pro Rodeo announcer, Scott Grover, will announce again at the Eureka Pro Rodeo
Ninth Annual Eureka PRCA Rodeo This Weekend“First Responders Night” Friday; Saturday: Armed Forces NightFriday, August 14 marks the opening day of the ninth annual Eureka PRCA Rodeo. Competitors from across the nation will converge on Eureka for a weekend full of professional rodeo action.Friday morning, at 8 a.m., the weekend’s events will start with slack. Slack is the overflow of contestants competing in the timed events. With so many rodeos being cancelled this year, Friday should be a full day of tie-down calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing.Friday night will start things off with gates opening at the Eureka Saddle Club Arena at 6 p.m. The Mutton Bustin’ for ages 6 and under begins at 7 p.m., with sign up on the south side of the concession stand. There is a $10 fee per ride, which will be limited to the first 20 riders.Friday night’s performance will be dedicated to “First Responders Night” in honor of those who have served and are serving. Military flags representing all divisions will be flown and each branch will be recognized at the beginning of the rodeo.The annual event will not feature a parade this year.Gates will open at 6 p.m. on Saturday night, with Mutton Bustin’ following at 7 p.m.Saturday’s performance will begin at 8 p.m., and is Armed Forces Night, so wear your red, white, and blue.Presenting, Premium, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors are invited to a complimentary VIP tent from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening.The Eureka PRCA Rodeo is administered by the Greenwood County Rodeo Association. The committee is comprised of Jamie and Stephanie Nelson, Luke and Rhonda Adkins, Corey Baker, Wayne Bailey, Wes Bailey, Tyson Brenton, Marilyn Brink, Shavonna Brockus, Pam Brown, Jacey Burke, Glen and Rachel Collinge, Jim and Colleen Cross, Joel Edmondson, Warren Farr, Bailey Gudde, Josh Gudde, Alan Johnson, Clint Johnson, Doc and Kris Martinsen, Ron Mast, Zach Mast, Craig and Kathy Miller, Brian and Vandetta Mongeau, Angie Morris, Melissa Richard, and John Teagarden.They have donated a great deal of their time and effort while serving on the committee working to bring some of the best heart-stopping, high-flying rodeo action to the community.United Pro Rodeo Company, of Palestine, Texas, comprised of Danny Reagan, Mark Owen and Don Reno will again provide the stock. Returning this year is announcer Scott Grover. PRCA Funny Man of the Year, Justin Rumford, will bring the entertainment to a whole new level this year.Planning for this event begins shortly after the previous year’s performance and continues throughout the year. The rodeo requires around $55,000 to continue from year to year. This money is provided through sponsorships and services from the surrounding communities. This includes individuals as well as businesses, and they have been unflagging in their support of this event. Each year the committee donates a portion of the proceeds to charitable organizations. Concessions and a variety of vendors will be available at the rodeo grounds. No outside coolers or pets are allowed at the rodeo. A Beer Garden will be provided by the Greenwood County 3-Wheelers Shrine Club.Purchase your tickets at the gate or pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Diamond S Welding in Eureka: $10 for adults; $5 for kids 7-11; 6 and under are free.This years event is being presented by American Family Insurance, Wes Sawyer Agency.