Many years ago, the Paris rodeo was part of the local tradition, drawing local and regional talent, but time and money saw it begin to fade and years went by without the rodeo ever breaking dirt.
The Paris Roundup Club has now changed that. After their success a year ago hosting a championship rodeo, this year they packed the arena at Veterans Park in Paris both Friday and Saturday nights and spectators were not disappointed.
When the Old Fort Days Dandies come to town, people follow. Their skill and presentation are worth the price of admission, but the stock proved to be tough and give exciting rides all night.
G Money livestock was the stock contractor and they have provided quality stock for rodeos all over the region. The broncs were tough and the bulls were mean and what may have been the highlight each evening was the mutton bustin’, where kids under 60 pounds grab on to the back of a sheep and hang on for all they have. Those that don’t win still often know the rodeo creed and stand and wave to the crowd.
The barrel racing went all the way from the ladies to the pee wee, watching youngsters handle the horses at speed with grace. Many were introduce to the ladies breakaway roping, where the time is determined, much like calf roping, except the ladies don’t have to dismount and tie down. When their rope breaks free of the saddle from being pulled by the stock, time is stopped. The winning time was well under three seconds.
The eight second rides strapped to a few thousand pounds of anger were the highlight of the night, and they did not disappoint. Local Cowboy Jason Ulrich was the champion bull rider with a score of 86. It was quite the ride and brought the crowd to its feet.
These cowboys and cowgirls are all competing for championship points in the American Cowboy Rodeo Association and the International Professional Rodeo Association. Many top 15 in the world rankings were present, and the results were obvious. The crowd stayed till the last ride and cheered every competition.
Thanks to the Paris Roundup Club, championship rodeo is back in Paris and drawing great crowds.
The club is looking for new members, and eight volunteers planned and produced the entire show. If you are interested in the roundup club, they meet the first Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. in the rodeo arena at Veterans Park in Paris. They would like to thank all of their sponsors, whose banners lined the arena and made the night possible. You can find out more on their Facebook page.
Look for their next event in October as they host a Youth Rodeo to coincide with the Frontier Day Festival in Paris.