Cowboy up: Rodeo coms to town

Posted: Monday, July 19, 2004

Horses and riders throughout the Kenai Peninsula and beyond are warming up for a roping, riding, wrangling weekend during the rodeo, an annual part of the Progress Days festivities.

"This is a real family event and one of the largest rodeos in our series of four," said Chelsey Fowler, rodeo director for the Soldotna Equestrian Association.

"We get entrants from all over the state. We had 130 entrants last year and are expecting even more this year," she said.

The Progress Days rodeo is the third in the series in which competitors vie for points assigned to each event. Competitors work toward a final prize of a silver belt buckle for their particular rodeo discipline.

Several classic rodeo events will be features during the Progress Day event, including barrel racing, pole bending and the popular key holing.

For those not familiar with the sport of rodeo, barrel racing is when contestants on horseback compete for the fastest time in running a triangular, cloverleaf pattern around three barrels. Pole bending is similar to an equestrian slalom as horse and rider weave in-and-out through six-foot high poles.

"Key holing is where we make a keyhole pattern on the ground out of flour or white powder," Fowler explained. "The horse and rider ride in and spin around in the 'hole' of the key pattern and then ride back out again. They try to do it as fast as they can without disturbing any of the flour."

Of course, no rodeo could be complete without a few roping events, and there will be several at this year's rodeo, including double mugging, team roping, breakaway roping and ribbon roping.

There will be bull riding as well, and Fowler said there would be a noticeable change to the event this year to up the ante for riders attempting their 8-seconds of glory.

"We'll have bulls instead of steers," she said.

In the evening, there also will be team penning.

"In this event, three people on horseback attempt to separate out and pen up three cows with numbers around their necks from a herd of 20," Fowler said.

Other events cater to all ages and skill levels.

Children are invited to take part in the calf scramble. In this event, a calf with a ribbon tied to its tail is released into the arena. Children from the audience are then encouraged to chase it down in an attempt to get the ribbon for themselves.

Children also can partake in the three-legged race, forage for change in a large sawdust pile or have a go in the hide race, in which they do their best to hang on to a cow hide being dragged around the arena at high speed by a horse.

The rodeo will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the rodeo grounds off Kaliforn-sky Beach Road, just east of the Soldotna Sports Center. Admis-sion is $6 for ages 13 and up, $3 for children 7 to 12 and free for children under 6.

The Progress Days rodeo is always a kick to watch. Clarion file photo

Cowboy up: Rodeo comes to town

By JOSEPH ROBERTIA

Peninsula Clarion

Horses and riders throughout the Kenai Peninsula and beyond are warming up for a roping, riding, wrangling weekend during the rodeo, an annual part of the Progress Days festivities.

"This is a real family event and one of the largest rodeos in our series of four," said Chelsey Fowler, rodeo director for the Soldotna Equestrian Association.

"We get entrants from all over the state. We had 130 entrants last year and are expecting even more this year," she said.

The Progress Days rodeo is the third in the series in which competitors vie for points assigned to each event. Competitors work toward a final prize of a silver belt buckle for their particular rodeo discipline.

Several classic rodeo events will be features during the Progress Day event, including barrel racing, pole bending and the popular key holing.

For those not familiar with the sport of rodeo, barrel racing is when contestants on horseback compete for the fastest time in running a triangular, cloverleaf pattern around three barrels. Pole bending is similar to an equestrian slalom as horse and rider weave in-and-out through six-foot high poles.

"Key holing is where we make a keyhole pattern on the ground out of flour or white powder," Fowler explained. "The horse and rider ride in and spin around in the 'hole' of the key pattern and then ride back out again. They try to do it as fast as they can without disturbing any of the flour."

Of course, no rodeo could be complete without a few roping events, and there will be several at this year's rodeo, including double mugging, team roping, breakaway roping and ribbon roping.

There will be bull riding as well, and Fowler said there would be a noticeable change to the event this year to up the ante for riders attempting their 8-seconds of glory.

"We'll have bulls instead of steers," she said.

In the evening, there also will be team penning.

"In this event, three people on horseback attempt to separate out and pen up three cows with numbers around their necks from a herd of 20," Fowler said.

Other events cater to all ages and skill levels.

Children are invited to take part in the calf scramble. In this event, a calf with a ribbon tied to its tail is released into the arena. Children from the audience are then encouraged to chase it down in an attempt to get the ribbon for themselves.

Children also can partake in the three-legged race, forage for change in a large sawdust pile or have a go in the hide race, in which they do their best to hang on to a cow hide being dragged around the arena at high speed by a horse.

The rodeo will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the rodeo grounds off Kaliforn-sky Beach Road, just east of the Soldotna Sports Center. Admis-sion is $6 for ages 13 and up, $3 for children 7 to 12 and free for children under 6.

The Progress Days rodeo is always a kick to watch. Clarion file photo



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