Gold may be the goal this week for Americans at the London Olympics but in Hermiston silver draws a crowd.
The Farm-City Pro Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary Wednesday and 25 years of thrilling rodeo fans at the Umatilla County Fair. Farm-City is also one of just 16 rodeos nationally to garner the Silver Tour Rodeo distinction, which comes for having a prize package of at least $10,000 per event.
“There’s not many like that in the Northwest,” said Jon Gill, Farm-City promotions director. “That helps us draw some of the top guys to this rodeo ... Pretty much most of the top 20 from the country at one point or another are going to be here.”
To go with all-star talent like eight-time all-around world champion Trevor Brazile, Hermiston is expecting some quality roughstock for its cowboys to ride. Four contractors are providing the animals for FCPR, creating a expansive and deep pool of buckers.
Calgary Stampede of Canada, Korkow Rodeos of Pierre, S.D., Corey & Horst Rodeo Co. of Moses Lake, Wash., and Kesler Rodeo Co. of Helena, Mont., will give the 25th rodeo its kick.
“We’re getting the best of each herd with that many contractors,” Gill said. “Having a compilation of good bucking stock is something we’ve tried to do. We want to be a top riding contest, not a drawing contest.”
Other stock contributors, Brent Palmer will provide the steers and Larry Norby will be in charge of calves. Randy Corley will take announcing duties for the 24th time in the event’s history and CrAsh Cooper will patrol the arena as clown and entertainer.
With day fees from competitors and added money, this year’s total winnings should creep north of $200,000. Last year’s total topped out at just over $196,000.
Winners from the 2011 edition are as follows: bareback bronc riding, Clint Cannon; steer wrestling, Jason Miller; tie-down roping, Seth Hopper; team roping, Matt Sherwood/Cory Petska; saddle bronc riding (tie), John Redig, Taos Muncy and Tyrell Smith; barrel racing, Liz Combs; bull riding, Clayton Savage.
Along with special event staples of the rodeo like Wednesday’s family night — where children 12 years old and younger gain admittance at a $5 discounted rate — and the daily dose of mutton busting, this summer’s FCPR has some special silver anniversary happenings.
But the rodeo oporators and promoters are still playing those cards close to their chests, Gill said.
Tickets to each day’s performance are $15 for general admission and $17 for reserved seating. Tickets are available at locations around Umatilla County — check www.farmcityprorodeo.com for details — or at the Farm-City box office.
Slack performances for timed events each day at 2 p.m. and Thursday and Friday at 10:30 p.m. are open to the public free of charge.
Contact AJ Mazzolini at email@example.com or 541-966-0839.