‘Record’ four nights
GERRY — The largest crowd in years filled the arena for the closing performance of the Gerry Fire Department’s 78th annual PRCA, culminating what the rodeo chairman calls “a record four nights of rodeo action.”
The total attendance for four nights was 11,297, while the kitchen crew, headed by Kyle VavAkin, served 3,695 dinners, both new records. Saturday was particularly busy as almost 4,000 fans filled the stands and more than1,000 dinners were sold. The rodeo can’t go on without contestants, and the 215 cowboys and cowgirls from 24 states and Brazil brought some of the most outstanding skills to the arena each night, with the bronc riders and bull riders showing up in record numbers.
The bareback bronc event kicked off the Saturday night action with two Texas cowboys placing first and second. Tim Murphy of Cleveland, scored 82 points on Painted Pony’s bronc named East Coast Ottis, while Brayze Schill of West Columbia was close behind with an 80-point ride.
Four of the steer wresters were successful in throwing their steers to the dirt with Chad Stoltzfus of Conowingo, Maryland, posting a fast time of 6.1 seconds. Coy Dyer of Franklinville, New Jersey was second at 8.5 while two other New Jersey ropers tied for third at 13.8.
Trent Turner of Teague, Texas, and his partner, Rodney Melton of Wilburton, Oklahoma posted the best time in the team roping by tying their calf’s horns and hind legs in one of the fastest times of the week at 6.3 seconds. Close behind were brothers Lance and Rodney Hower of Milton, Pennsylvania with a 7.6-second time.
Eight of the 10 saddle bronc riders posted scores with Kaul Runfola of Center, Texas scoring 82 points aboard Painted Pony’s Pretty Girl for the top spot. Second place went to Michael Womack of Bastrop, Louisiana at 79 points. Four other cowboys scored in the 70s.
The cowgirls’ breakaway was very close with only seven-tenths of a second separating the top three. Emily Fabian of Gasport, New York was fastest at 3.2 seconds, followed by Lauren Wagner of McClure, Pennsylvania at 3.8 and Shayne Vallone, Ballston Spa, New York at 3.9.
The tie-down ropers had two very fast times. Chance Locken of Reedsburg, Wisconsin roped and tied his calf in 10.3, the second-fastest time of the week. Second place was captured by Ned Kilgus of Watsontown, Pennsylvania with a time of 21.1
As usual, the cowgirls barrel racing was very close with the top five ladies separated by nine-tenths of a second in the trip around the cloverleaf barrels. Jaime Fowler trailered her horse from Henderson, Maryland, and he carried her to first place in 15.37 seconds. Second place went to Nicole Davidson of Canterbury, Connecticut with a 13.70 ride.
The Painted Pony Rode bulls were in great form for the entire week with 53 cowboys attempting to stay aboard for the required eight seconds and there were only seven successful rides. Three of those were by Maikon Calixto Rocha, a cowboy who traveled 3,000 miles from his home in Orindivva, Brazil. He got bucked off on opening night, but went on to place first two nights and second on Thursday.
The rodeo committee and the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department send their gratitude to all the fans and the more than 150 volunteers who make this event possible as all the proceeds go the department in their efforts to protect the lives and property of this and surrounding areas. Plans are already underway for the 79th annual rodeo, scheduled for four performances, July 31-August 3, 2024.
Additional information, including photos and the rodeo history, are available on the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org.
For those who couldn’t attend the rodeo or would like to see a replay, the Cowboy Channel has taken notice of the Gery Rodeo and will be broadcasting Friday’s and Saturday’s performances today from 3:30-6 p.m., and Tuesday at the same time.