Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 24, 2014

Rodeo events truly a classic — A rush of excitement with colors all over the place should again greet those in the seats for Pauls Valley’s three-day rodeo this week.

It’s the 69th annual Heritage Days Rodeo set for Thursday through Saturday, June 26-28 at the Pauls Valley Roundup Club Arena.

Along with live music starting at 7:15 p.m., each night of the rodeo action gets rolling around 8 p.m. with participants making a “grand entry” into the arena.

“You’ll have all your cowboys on horseback parade around the arena,” said Dessie Daugherty.

“We’ll have a flag presentation with Miss Rodeo USA. Then the action starts.”

Again featured are a total of eight rodeo events and some of the top riders in the world.

This event and those riders are part of the International Professional Rodeo Association, better known simply as the IPRA, as they compete for prize money.

“It’s a professional organization for rodeo,” Daugherty said. “It was born right here in Pauls Valley.

“Cowboys compete all year long. They come from all over the United States. We’ve got both coasts covered, and we’ve always got riders from Texas and the locals,” she said.

“Some of our locals are pretty salty. They could come in there and win the pot.”

Along with all the cash built up from entry fees there will be $15,000 additional money to be split among the top finishers in all the events.

The events themselves show why the rodeo has such a long tradition that’s truly American.

There will be the bare back competition, bronc and saddle bronc as riders here must stay on for at least 8 seconds.

“That event is classic rodeo,” Daugherty said about the saddle bronc category.

“The roots of rodeo are right there with the saddle bronc,” she said.

“Back in the day they would have one ranch compete against another ranch. That is really where the rodeo began. They would get together and have a big blowout with cowboys competing in a saddle bronc.”

The 8-second time is also important for riders in bullriding.

“These are bulls raised especially for this event. These bulls are specifically bred and very well taken care of. They do their best to get rid of that rider.”

The calf roping is a throw-back to the Old West days ranchers would rope cattle to brand or vaccinate them.

There’s also team roping during the local rodeo.

The ladies also join in with the fast action of barrel racing and breakaway roping.

“They ride a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels,” Dessie said about the barrel racing.

“It’s about speed, turning fast. It’s also very colorful what some of these cowgirls wear.”

Other nightly fun comes from the mutton buskin’, junior barrels and calf scramble events.

A rodeo parade at 5 p.m. Saturday will go from Wacker Park down Chickasaw Street circling back on Willow Street.

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