Buckling up for two days of bronco riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding, appreciative fans enjoy 72nd Annual Clifton Rodeo, along with some family run at the carnival
CLIFTON – Whether watching the mutton bustin’ antics, the 4-H calf scramble, the buckin’ broncs and bulls or the tight barrel racer turns, a rodeo never ceases to amaze, excite and grab you. It was no different at the 72nd Annual Rodeo in Clifton last Friday and Saturday, June 9-10.
Spectators filled the stands at the Clifton Rodeo Arena on two hot and humid summer evenings to marvel at the skill of the ropers, the wild antics of the rodeo clowns and gasp at the speed of the barrel racers and hold their breath during the bronco bustin' and bull riding.
After the flying of the nation’s colors, a prayer and the National Anthem, this year’s rodeo skipped the traditional grand entrance with all the cowboys and cowgirls filling the arena as the event went straight into the bareback and saddle bronc riding.
As much as the twists, bucks, kicks and turns of the beautiful mustangs wowed the crowd, the Rocking M and Hat Brand’s pick-up men Shannon Rodeoo and Chad Gastins on horseback and in the arena Colt Carlisle and Matt Clause garnered as much respect and appreciation for putting themselves in harm’s way to keep the rodeo riders safe.
Established over 30 years ago by Lynn Bottoms, the Hat Brand/Rocking M Rodeo Company produces rodeos across Texas and provides the award-winning livestock over the years.
Another great crowd-pleaser mutton bustin’ was a challenge for the cowboys and cowgirls-to-be, as the sheep did not have much coat to hang on to this year. The rodeo also always proudly honors the Central Texas Youth Fair winners during the show, and many CTYF youth displayed their ribbons and newly-won belt buckles at the rodeo.
The Clifton Rodeo was not mentioned in the UPRA website’s schedule, which might have resulted in fewer contestants this year also due to competing rodeos in Lockhart, Grand Saline and Crosby. This did allow the rodeo to maintain fast and frenzied pace, keeping the crowd’s attention.
And the rodeo contestants amassed some serious cash. Bareback Bronc rider Ross Sherrod with a score of 78 won $716.64. He ranks 15th in the UPRA standings and 16th in the CPRA standings. Unranked Saddle Bronc Rider Miguel Pena won $640.32 with a score of 79 points. Pistol Preece won $703.20 with his score of 84 in the Bull Riding coming into the event ranked 23rd in the UPRA standings.
UPRA 12th-ranked Barrel Racer Shelby Oglesby won $989.36 with her time of 15.138. Gracie Roseberry, ranked seventh in the UPRA standings and 45th in the CPRA standings, won $1,213.24 with her time of 1.5 seconds in the Breakaway Calf Roping. UPRA’s 18th-ranked De Andre Jackson won $963.52 calf roping with a time of 7.970. The Team Ropers Reno Stoebner – ranked 13th in the CPRA standings – and unranked Travis Woodard won $1,480.96 with their time of 4.030.
Besides the athletic entertainment, the former tie-down roper and excellent rodeo announcer Zane Parker with his “let’s get ready to rumble” voice and the rodeo clown crew with Coty Cooper kept the rodeo-loving crowd entertained between event set ups.
Since the Clifton Chamber of Commerce took over the organization and turned it into a joint-sanctioned rodeo, the event won “New Rodeo of the Year” at the State Fair of Texas last year. Besides prize money, the cowboys and cowgirls amass points for the United Professional Rodeo Association and Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association finals. This helps bring quality contestants to town to compete.
And after the rodeo, the Carnival was the place to go for young and old to hang out and enjoy the exciting rides and some fun under the neon lights in the warm, evening breeze.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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