Burnham back as Rodeo vet 

The Stony Creek Horsemen’s Association has announced that Dr. Leroy Burnham has volunteered his services again as standby veterinarian at this year’s Stonyford Rodeo. 

Burnham frequently filled this important post since 1965, and has done the job continuously since 2013, after the rodeo’s previous vet, Dr. Art Neves, passed away. 

Burnham, a longtime resident of Maxwell, has been a fixture in the Willows business community for more than 50 years, after he opened his practice there after graduating from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, in 1963. 

“The service that Dr. Burnham provides is a necessary one for the Stonyford Rodeo,” Roy Stewart, rodeo spokesman, said in a press release. “Without a qualified veterinarian in attendance, the rodeo could not happen. Neither the state nor the PRCA would allow it.”

For all of the 74 years of the Stonyford Rodeo’s existence, local-area veterinarians have volunteered their services. Long ago, Dr. Patricia Speck, of Williams, performed the task. Dr. Art Neves, of Willows, also did the honors for more than 20 years. 

Stewart said Burnham would be at the rodeo both days, prepared to act as necessary to aid injured animals participating in the event. 

The 75th annual Stonyford Rodeo will begin on Friday, May 4, at 1 p.m., with the annual rodeo queen contest in Stonyford’s Brother Moore Arena. The crowning of the queen and her court will be at 3 p.m., with barrel racing to follow. The Stonyford Rodeo Parade will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. The rodeo’s long-time American Flag bearer, Sandra Corbin and husband Barry, will be the parade’s Grand Marshal and rodeo dedicatees. 

Special guests will include Carmel Moore Ellerman, her children, and other Moore family members. The Ellerman children performed at Stonyford rodeos in the 1970s and 1980s as the trick riding “Flying Cossacks.” The Moore family that included Earl, Lawrence (Sharky), and Beulah Moore Vanlandingham (all deceased) were instrumental in getting this rodeo and its “Gay Nineties Parade” off to a successful start—the parade in 1939 and the rodeo in 1943, Stewart said. 

Rodeo begins at 1 p.m., on Saturday, and noon on Sunday. They will feature two new performers: clown and barrelman JJ Harrison, and specialty act John Payne, aka “The One Arm Bandit.” Don Jesser will return to announce, and Growney Brothers will again provide the stock. ■