By Cody Thompson
CROCKETT – Turn out the lights, the party’s over. The Porth Ag Arena is once again empty after the conclusion of the 56th Annual Crockett Lions Club Rodeo on Saturday, May 13.
The rodeo got off to a slow start as heavy rain and high winds put a dampener on attendance on Thursday May 11.
“Thursday was horrible, but you can’t really plan around the weather,” Crockett Lions Club president Heath Murff told the Messenger on Tuesday. “But Thursday is typically our slowest day anyways, so I’m glad the bad weather came then as opposed to Friday or Saturday.”
The rodeo saw a fairly larger crowd on Friday, May 12 and an enormous crowd on Saturday, May 13, according to Murff.
“Saturday’s turnout was awesome,” Murff said. “Saturday is usually our best day, but this year there was only standing room left.”
As always, the Lions Club Rodeo attracted talented cowboys and cowgirls from the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association to participate in the three-day event.
Chad Rutherford of Lake Charles, La. claimed the first-place spot in the bareback riding category with a score of 81.5, followed closely behind by Mason Johnston of Huntsville’s score of 78.5. Cleveland’s Jake Brown came in third with a score of 76.
“This has been one of my favorite rodeos so far this year,” Rutherford told the Messenger on Saturday. “Everyone here has been super nice and the crowd is really great and supportive.”
The bull riding category saw Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah claim the top spot with a score of 86 and his brother Josh Frost claim the second position with a score of 84. The Frost brothers are the cousins of famous bull rider Lane Frost, who was the inspiration for the 1994 film “8 Seconds.”
“I guess you could say that riding is in my blood,” Joe Frost told the Messenger. “It’s been a part of my life since as far back as I can remember.”
There was a tie for third place between Kage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla. and Boudreax Campbell of Crockett.
“I’ve been involved in rodeos since I was about four and have done everything from mutton-busting to bull riding,” Campbell said. “It’s an honor to be able to come back to my hometown and show everyone what I’ve got.”
Dean Wadsworth of Ozona cinched the top spot in the saddle bronc riding category with a score of 84.5. Stephenville’s Sterling Crawley claimed second with a score of 81 and Joe Harper of Paradise Valley, Nev. claimed third place with a score of 78.5.
Eli Lord of Sturgis, S.D. won the steer wrestling event with a time of 4.1 seconds, followed closely behind by Keatchie, La. native Jacob Talley’s time of 4.2 seconds. Shane Hadley of Stephenville claimed the third spot with a time of 4.4 seconds.
“These guys really gave me a run for my money at this event and I really had to dig deep,” Lord told the Messenger.
The top spot in the tie-down roping category went to Landyn Duncan of Atascosita, who scored a time of 8.2 seconds. Second place went to Caleb Smith of Bellville for his time of 8.5 seconds and the third spot was claimed by Reno Gonzales of Scott, La. who scored a time of 9.2 seconds.
Laura Kennedy of Quitman, Ark. claimed the top spot in the barrel racing event with a time of 15.96 seconds, followed by Traci Bettis of Round Rock’s time of 16.03 seconds. Cayla Small of Burneyville, OK claimed the third spot with a time of 16.08 seconds.
“The Lions Club would like to thank everyone who came out to support us at this year’s rodeo,” Murff said. “We had a great turnout this year, but we’re always hoping to do even better next year.”