Gerry Rodeo brings in nearly 10,000 fans

Breakaway roper Tori Roberto (pictured) of Swedesboro, New Jersey, and steer wrestler Olin Ellsworth of Warrensburg, New York, are presented their championship buckles by Tom Atwell, rodeo chairman. Submitted photo

GERRY, N.Y. — The 77th annual Gerry Fire Department’s PRCA rodeo closed the doors Saturday night on what Tom Atwell, rodeo chairman called “one of the best rodeos in recent years in many ways.”

Despite threatening weather in the area on two of the four nights, almost 10,000 fans filed through the gates to watch outstanding competition in the eight rodeo events. Atwell said this exceeded even recent rodeos prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the fire department is grateful for the loyal fans who helped to make this year’s even so successful.

Added to the fan support were the large number cowboys and cowgirls who traveled from 28 states, Canada, and as far away as Brazil. The prize payout was approximately $80,000, a figure that far exceeded expectations as the large number of contestants paid entry fees which were added to the $48,000 that the fire department offers. Competition was limited to 10 competitors in each event each night during the performance due to time restraints. However, due to the large number of contestants, some competitors had to compete in the afternoon prior to the evening performance.

The kitchen staff saw their work in serving approximately 3,000 dinners over the four nights go off smoothly despite some big changes. Longtime chef Bruce Gustafson is retiring from that job after 13 years, but he spent the entire week training his replacement as a younger member of the fire department, Kyle Van Akin, will be heading up this difficult job next rodeo.

Atwell reminds rodeo fans that his committee has already set dates for next year’s 78th rodeo, Aug. 2-5, and that he and his group will begin working on ways to make this traditional event even better. He thanks the many volunteers, many of whom took vacations to work on making the rodeo possible. He also thanks members of fellow fire departments who pitched in to help.

Breakaway roper Tori Roberto of Swedesboro, New Jersey, and steer wrestler Olin Ellsworth (pictured) of Warrensburg, New York, are presented their championship buckles by Tom Atwell, rodeo chairman. Submitted photo

Following are the top three money winners in each event, with first one named champion of the event. Each of them had to compete all four nights and win the most money to be declared champion in that event. The champion also received a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle. Only Kade Sonnier of Carencro, Louisiana, won the most in his event, bareback riding, but wasn’t named champion because he missed a night of riding due to an injury. The “All-Around” award goes to the competitor who won the most money while competing in at least two events.

Bareback Riding

Grant Worthington — Ft. Scott, Kansas — $1,763

Owen Brouilette — St. Francis, Louisiana — $884

Vitor Rigotti — Campo Grande, Brazil — $653

Saddle Bronc

Isaac Richard — Eunice, Louisiana — $3,365

Shea Fournier — Raceland, Louisiana — $1,659

Ray Hostetler — Summerfield, Florida — $705

Bull Riding

Cody McCandless — Saltsburg, Pennsylvania — $2,517

Mazinho Jeremias — Rinopolis, Brazil — $1,000

Nick Mest — Lakewood, New York — $750

Steer Wrestling

Olin Ellsworth — Warrensburg, New York — $1,034

AJ Williams — New Providence, Pennsylvania — $1,001

Zane Kilgus — Watsontown, Pennsylvania — $837

Team Roping (Header)

Braxton Culpepper — Poulan, Georgia — $2,813

Eric Fabia — Gansevoort, New York — $254

Zane Kilgus — Watsontown, Pennsylvania — $239

Team Roping (Heeler)

Brad Culpepper — Sylvester, Georgia — $2,813

Derek Carey — Valley Falls, New York — $2,543

Drew Carnes — Hornell, New York — $2,395

Tie Down Roping

JR Myers — Felton, Pennsylvania — $1,060

JC Fisher — Milton, Pennsylvania — $973

Jerry Easler — Jennings, Florida — $770

Breakaway Roping

Tori Roberto — Swedesboro, New Jersey — $2,453

Jesse Alsup — Fairgrove, Missouri — $2,136

Cheyenne Chamberlain — Fort Ann, New York — $1,488

Barrel Racing

Christina Mulford — Franklinville, New Jersey — $2484

Jody Lyn Colton — Cullman, Alabama — $1,469

Ronda Casey — Plymouth, Indiana — $1,460


Zane Kilgus — Watsontown, Pennsylvania — $3,823

JR Myers — Felton, Pennsylvania — $2,999

Tyler Shelstad — Boyd, Texas — $2,602


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