Cowboys to show real ranch skills
It's family fun for all this weekend
Get ready for rodeo action tomorrow with the 28th Annual Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Association Rodeo at the Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds.
This rodeo is unique as it features real working ranch cowboys from the region performing in events that highlight the skill of today's ranchers.
"If you want to see some real family entertainment, come on out and watch all these kids from 3-85," said past/future team roping participant and arena tractor driver Bob Dean.
The idea for the event began in the early 1970s when area cowboys who had participated in the rodeos of yesterday thought it would be fun to start it up again.
The first event ‹ called the Old Timer's Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo ‹ was held in 1978 in Flagstaff. In 1982, the organization moved its event to Williams, where it stayed until 1992. The rodeo moved back to Flagstaff for a few short years, then returned to Williams where it is still held today.
The event's original purpose ‹ to promote the comradery of the working cowboys ‹ carries the same strong message and today, the non-profit ACRA uses proceeds from the event to award scholarships and to assist ranchers in need.
Competitions will include calf roping, steer and bronc riding, 12-under and 60-plus team roping, and all-girl team roping. Much of the fun, however, centers around the not-so-usual competitions, such as wild horse racing, century roping, ribbon roping, and the often hilarious wild cow milking (insert imagination here).
The action begins tomorrow with jackpot roping at 3 p.m.
Then on Friday, it's an early morning with slack starts (extra spillover participants) for century roping, team tying and more at 7 a.m. Gymkhana ‹ exhibitions of special skills ‹ begins at 8 a.m. with the grand entry and first rodeo performances starting at 1 p.m.
A rodeo dance starts at 9 p.m. and wraps up the day's events.
Saturday begins at the same time and at 7 p.m., team ropers and bronc riders are invited to engage in the Calcutta auction with another dance capping off the night at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, things start at 8 a.m. with Calcutta team roping. A Cowboy Church service at the barn is held at 10:30 a.m., with the final performances at 1 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow and tickets for all days of the event can be purchased at the entrance.
This year's event is dedicated to the late Bobby Reeves, a Camp Verde area rancher/past ACRA rodeo participant, and this year's officers include Ed Ashurst ‹ president; Art Savoini ‹ vice president; and Debi Anderson ‹ treasurer/secretary.
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