When rodeo returns to Purcell on Friday and Saturday, there will be a new stock contractor, level of competition and tradition not seen locally for many years.
The Indian Territory Round-Up Club is hosting the McClain County Heart of Oklahoma Rodeo for two performances at the county fairgrounds.
The rodeo is sanctioned by the International Pro Rodeo Association and American Cowboys Rodeo Association.
Big Horn Rodeo Company out of Lamar will be the stock contractor.
Zeck Auto’s Chevrolet and Ford dealerships here are the local sponsors.
Performances will begin at 7 p.m. with mutton busting. Buckles will be awarded to the winners.
The rodeo action will begin at 8 p.m. with professional cowboys and cowgirls vying for $750 added money in rough stock and timed events.
Those include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, cowgirl breakaway roping and open cowgirl barrel racing.
The purse in junior cowgirl barrel racing will be sweetened with $150 added money.
A special event at both performances will be wild cow riding in which 3-person teams attempt to catch, saddle and ride unbroken bovines.
Providing entertainment during the rodeo will be Dustin “The Jester” Jenkins.
Local contestants will be competing against professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation.
Spectators can expect full entries in every event. The stock contractor typically draws close to 100 entries, allowing eight to compete during the rodeo in each event.
Excess entries compete in the slack following the evening’s performance.
Returning after a lengthy hiatus will be a rodeo parade on Main Street.
That parade will get underway at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Admission is $10 at the gate and children 10 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult.