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Sun, Aug. 09

Cowpunchers ride into Williams

Two working cowboys form a team in calf roping during last year¹s Cowpunchers Rodeo. Working cowboys can be found at the Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds this weekend when the Cowpunchers return to Williams for their reunion rodeo. Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages will complete against one another throughout the weekend.

Two working cowboys form a team in calf roping during last year¹s Cowpunchers Rodeo. Working cowboys can be found at the Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds this weekend when the Cowpunchers return to Williams for their reunion rodeo. Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages will complete against one another throughout the weekend.

It's rodeo time in Williams again and this year's season starts with the traditional Arizona Cowpunchers' Reunion Association Rodeo set to take place tomorrow through Sunday at the Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds.

The ACRA rodeo has been taking place annually in Williams since 1978. It features real working cowboys participating in not only typical rodeo competitions, but unique events as well that showcase what kind of hard work real cowboys engage in on the ranch.

More typical competitions include calf roping, steer and bronc riding, 12-and-under team roping, 60-plus team roping and all-girl team roping. Not-so typical events include wild horse racing ‹ where a team tries to saddle a wild horse and race it; century roping ‹ where team member's ages must add up to at least 100; ribbon roping ‹ where kids try to snag the ribbon from a calf's tail; and wild cow milking ‹ where a wild cow must be roped and milked.

Tomorrow, fans can enjoy jackpot roping, starting at 4 p.m. The main events then begin Friday with 7 a.m. slack (extra participants for which there is no room in the regular rodeo event) starts for century roping, team tying, and 60-plus roping. Gymkhana ‹ competitions exhibiting special skills ‹ begins at 8 a.m. with the main rodeo performances starting at 1 p.m.

Saturday's and Sunday's schedules basically mirror the Friday schedule, with a few additions. Both Friday and Saturday night will feature dances from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., dummy roping will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, an auction will be held Saturday at 7 p.m., a church service will be held Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and an awards ceremony will follow the regular competitions that same day.

This year, something new has been added as well. Winners of the National Ranch Rodeo saddle bronc rider competition from Nevada and Texas have been invited to compete against those from Arizona for the World Champion Ranch Bronc Rider title.

The ARCA rodeo was started by cowboys from the area who used to participate in the rodeos of the 1920s through 1940s. The ACRA itself is a non-profit group whose rodeo proceeds go towards awarding scholarships and assisting ranchers in need.

For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at (928) 635-0273.

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