Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

October 2, 2012

Rodeo to salute wounded soldiers

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — This one's for the good guys in the white hats as a rodeo coming to Pauls Valley will help a group of soldiers who have paid a big price for serving their country.

As a big salute to those American soldiers who have been severely injured in the line of duty a roundup is set to start at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13 at Pauls Valley's rodeo arena.

Thanks to a couple of area residents and the PV Round Up Club, this two-day event, sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association, is called the Rodeo for Wounded Warriors.

Proceeds from the rodeo will go to the national Wounded Warrior Project, which works to help soldiers who have suffered the worst of injuries.

“This is an organization that helps soldiers — mentally, financially, emotionally and physically,” said Lynn Brady.

“It helps them adapt back into society after fighting in places like Iraq or Afghanistan,” she said. “This is specifically for those soldiers since 9/11.

“These are soldiers who have lost limbs, been scarred mentally. It helps to get them doctor appointments, housing, anything they are in need of to become whole again, a whole person.”

The idea of organizing a rodeo of this kind was the brainchild of Brady and rodeo stock producer Wendell Ratchford of Wynnewood.

The reason is simple — they didn't believe enough was being done to help these wounded soldiers after they come home.

“We need to give back to the people who've looked after us,” Brady said.

“They're here to protect us, whether they serve in a place like Afghanistan or they stay and help during a hurricane here. Many of them volunteer for this, and some of them don't come home.”

The rodeo arena here was chosen as the site for the event because Brady said it’s an excellent facility that could hopefully bring in a big turnout of fans.

Brady is quick to give credit to the local round up club for allowing use of the arena.

“We chose this facility because it's one of the better facilities in Oklahoma for rodeo,” she said.

In the range of 250 contestants from around the country and even Canada are expected to ride in the event.

“We hope to get a lot of riders who are on the bubble or close to the finals,” Brady said, referring to the IPRA point standings as the current rodeo season nears an end for the year.

“There are people who represent a lot of states who are coming here to compete.”

A number of standard events, like bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, roping, bull riding and a calf scramble, will be a part of the rodeo.

Tickets, available all over the county, are $10 for adults and free for kids 12 and under.

Brady is also hoping for more rodeo sponsors, which can also be done anonymously.

“If a sponsor wants to remain anonymous and honor someone, we can do that,” she said.

“If you want to honor a fallen soldier or someone else we can do that by naming an event after them.”

For more on the rodeo call Brady at 405-207-8672.