The Duncan Banner
The way Mike Anderson puts it, Stephens County is home to “rodeo royalty.”
Anderson, director of the county fairgrounds, is a fan of rodeo and still does a bit of rodeoing himself, so he’s no tinhorn when offering such observations.
Anderson’s point will be driven home Friday and Saturday when the 25th annual Chisholm Trail Stampede PRCA Rodeo takes place at the Stephens County Expo Center.
There will be 279 contestants in this year’s rodeo, including Ryan Jarrett of Comanche, a former PRCA world champion all-around cowboy who will compete in tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling.
Other local cowboys in the arena will be Duncan’s Shane Frey in tie-down roping and steer wrestling, Comanche’s Dylan Gordon in team roping, Waurika’s Lee Cain in bull riding and barrel racers Shy-Anne Jarrett of Comanche and Kylie Rogers and Cassie Ward of Addington.
The cowboy tradition in and around Stephens County is rich.
“We’ve had barrel racing champions and team roping champions,” said Anderson. “One year Stephens County had eight or nine of the top 15 at the National Finals Rodeo.”
“We’re kind of a hotbed around here for rodeo royalty. We’ve got people here who are world contenders and a lot of them will be here this weekend. It’ll be something to see,” Anderson said.
The date for the rodeo was moved from September to the first Saturday in May about 10 years ago to take advantage of the rodeo in Guymon, a larger event that takes place over a five-day period and draws the top cowboys on the circuit.
This enables cowboys competing in Guymon to make the 4 to 5 hour drive to Duncan for the Chisolm Trail Stampede Rodeo, drawing cowboys with bigger names to the competitive mix, said rodeo president Barbara Davis.
“We’ve got a lot more cowboys now,” she said.
Bull riding is the most popular event, Davis said.
The local rodeo has put up a $7,000 purse — $1,000 for each of the seven events — that is supplemented by the various entry fees paid by the participants.
There will be 20 bareback riders, 31 saddle bronc riders, 35 bull riders, 32 calf ropers, 42 steer wrestlers, 34 team ropers and 85 lady barrel racers.
There will be 16 vendors at the rodeo.
Tickets are $12 at the gate. On Friday night, all children with a paid adult are admitted free. Admission for kids 12 and younger on Saturday night is $5. Military members with valid ID cards receive half-price admission.