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Ride ‘em, Rope ‘em, Round ‘em up: 71st Annual Clifton Rodeo continues small town cowboy tradition June 10-11 after exceeding expectations last year

CLIFTON – While football may rank as the most popular sport in the Lone Star State, the rodeo stands out as the official sport of Texas.

For Bosque County rodeo fans, it’s once again time to cowboy up – either as spectator or as participant – in the 71st Annual Clifton Rodeo to be held Friday and Saturday, June 10-11 at the Clifton Rodeo Arena on the Clifton Fair Grounds, opening at 7:30 p.m. each night. Presented and sponsored by the Clifton Chamber of Commerce, rodeo tickets cost $10 for adults or $5 for children 12-and-under.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday in downtown Clifton with the Rodeo Parade as line up starts at 5:30 p.m. in front of Blossom Shoppe. After the parade, fans can head on down to the rodeo grounds to watch the cowgirls run for the best time on barrel racing while the cowboys will compete in bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, tiedown calf roping, breakaway calf roping and team roping. The rodeo is co-sanctioned with the UPRA/CPRA. The rodeo events start at 7:30 p.m. with the Grand Entry.

With the Clifton Chamber of Commerce under a five-year contract with the Clifton Horse Show Association to produce the rodeo, the much-enjoyed and highly-anticipated event returned to its roots by running in conjunction with the Central Texas Youth Fair in 2021 and will do so once again this year with Hat Brand / Rocking M providing stock and producing the show.

Providing fun for the whole family, the Clifton Rodeo will feature a carnival starting Thursday evening and running until Saturday night. Mutton Bustin’ for the young contestants will take place Friday and Saturday where children at least three years old and weighing no more than 55 pounds will compete for a belt buckle and the thrill of riding in the rodeo. The 4-H / FFA Calf Scramble will once again offer entertainment and provide certificates to help purchase animal projects for the stock shows.

With cowboys and cowgirls of all ages and sizes offering thrills and spills in the return from a pandemic shutdown last year, the Clifton Rodeo gave the more than 1,200 rodeo fans in attendance their money’s worth during the two-day event.

“I think it was fantastic,” Clifton Chamber of Commerce President Paige Key said.  “We were so excited to take it on, and can’t wait till next year’s rodeo. It worked out great to move the rodeo back to run in conjunction with the youth fair. I think it increased the attendance overall. I think people were wanting to get out and do stuff since the pandemic is getting over. We had over 1,200 people attend last year, and we hope more will attend this year.”

With the history of the Clifton Rodeo dating back to 1931, the collaboration between the Clifton Horse Show Association and the Clifton Chamber of Commerce proved to be an instant success.

“It takes a lot of effort from a lot of people to put on a rodeo and make it successful,” said Drew Leigh of the Clifton Horse Show Association. “The Chamber of Commerce seemed like the natural transition to carry on the tradition of rodeo in Clifton. I helped them with the logistics of putting on a rodeo, and I think we put on a good one that hopefully our community can be proud of. We’re going to be looking forward to 2022, and work toward making it bigger and better.”

For more information on the rodeo or if you would like to sponsor an event, call the Clifton Chamber of Commerce at 254-675-3720 or email: office@cliftontexas.org.

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

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