Woodward, Okla. —
Ropin', ridin', bulldoggin', dancin' and much more will make for a busy and fun rodeo week in these parts.
The 83rd Woodward Elks Rodeo gets going with a bang on Monday at the Blake Lauer Memorial Arena west of Buffalo as 18 of the top 20 steer ropers in the world will be in competition.
Defending world champion Rocky Patterson is on hand along with world money leader Cody Lee.
And things simply pick up from there.
On Tuesday, the focus shifts to downtown Woodward for the annual longhorn steer drive, then to the famed Crystal Beach Arena for the preliminary slack competition.
Wednesday, anyone who wants can eat for free at the Main Street Hamburger Feed in Centennial Park.
Rodeo performances run Wednesday through Thursday with events for the kids each night.
Rodeo goers can enjoy free barbecue with their ticket on Thursday and free hamburgers on Friday. Then prior to the rodeo finale on Saturday, $5 will get you a plate at the state championship chuckwagon cookoff.
Like to dance? We'll, you're in luck. On Wednesday, the Jake Bowers Band performs at the Woodward Elks Lodge after the rodeo. On Friday at the fairgrounds just across from the arena, The Great Divide and Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition are on stage. Sullins returns on Saturday and is joined by headliner Jason Boland and the Stragglers.
And that rodeo thing?
Here are a few of the scheduled performers:
• Four-time world bull riding champion J. W. Harris, who is currently 5th in this year's standings.
• Former world barrel racing champion Mary Burger and past national finalists like Shali Lord and Tana Poppino.
• Four-time NFR qualifier Tom McFarland and 5-time qualifier Chris Harris in the bareback riding
• Former world champion Stan Williamson and 3-time Linderman Award (competes in roughstock and timed events) winner Trell Etbauer, who has also won the all-around saddle in Woodward during his career.
• The roping team of Nick Sartain and Rich Skelton. Sartain has one national championship as a header and Skelton is an 11-time world champion heeler with $2.5 million in career earnings. Both are in the top 10 this year.
• Top 20 saddle bronc riders Wade Sundell, Jacobs Crawley, Sterling Crawley and Curtis Garton.
• Tie-down roper Jerome Schneeberger, an 11-time NFR qualifier.
And, there's more.
Rodeo isn't just about competition, there is also entertainment each night.
Justin Rumford is this year's barrel man at ht erode and in his short career has already been named PRCA Clown of the Year.
Also new this year is Tommy Turvey and his horse act, one of the top specialty acts in the world.
Returning as bull fighters are favorites Luke Kraut and Clifford Maxwell and bringing everything together is announcer Charlie Throckmorton.