Gerry Rodeo brings in nearly 10,000 fans
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.
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.
Grant Worthington — Ft. Scott, Kansas — $1,763
Owen Brouilette — St. Francis, Louisiana — $884
Vitor Rigotti — Campo Grande, Brazil — $653
Isaac Richard — Eunice, Louisiana — $3,365
Shea Fournier — Raceland, Louisiana — $1,659
Ray Hostetler — Summerfield, Florida — $705
Cody McCandless — Saltsburg, Pennsylvania — $2,517
Mazinho Jeremias — Rinopolis, Brazil — $1,000
Nick Mest — Lakewood, New York — $750
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
Tori Roberto — Swedesboro, New Jersey — $2,453
Jesse Alsup — Fairgrove, Missouri — $2,136
Cheyenne Chamberlain — Fort Ann, New York — $1,488
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