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Stonyford Rodeo: Only a Few Days Left for Reduced-Price Tickets

Tickets for the 73rd Annual Stonyford Rodeo are on sale at the following stores: Stonyford General Store, Stonyford; Carl’s Feed, Willows; Boot Barn, Chico, Anderson & Yuba City; Bucke’s Feed & Grain, Orland; Marie’s Lakeshore Feed, Clearlake; Rainbow Ag, Lakeport; Mendocino Co. Farm Supply, Ukiah; Ace Hardware, Arbuckle; AgriSource (Parts Dept.), Maxwell; and Hust Bros., Colusa (formerly, Colusa Motor Sales). If you purchase tickets by the applicable merchant’s close-of-business on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, they are $10 for adults and $6 for children 7 years and older—children 6 years and younger are free. They are also available online (www.stonycreekhorsemen.org) at reduced prices until noon on Rodeo Saturday, April 30, 2016. At the gate, they are $15 for adults and $7 for children 7 years and older—children 6 years and younger are free. Buy now and save bucks.

This year’s rodeo is shaping up to be a good one. Our stock contractors are John Growney and Don Kish. They report that their animal athletes, especially the bulls, are in peak condition. They will present an awesome challenge to our rodeo cowboys, both amateur and professional. Competing amateurs come from local ranches and the professionals, who do rodeo for a living, come in from all around the country.

Protecting the cowboys are the bullfighters, the pick-up men, and the barrelman. The bullfighters and barrelman distract the bulls and steers after they’ve thrown their riders, to prevent injury. The pick-up men are the expert horsemen who come along side of a bucking horse to retrieve the rider still aboard at the sound of the buzzer.

At Stonyford, these professionals are among the best in the business. Eric Layton and Tim O’Conner are the bullfighters, Bobby Marriott and Matt Twitchell are the pick-up men, and Wolfey Selvester is in the barrel. To keep the fans informed about the action underway is announcer Don Jesser. Don is usually on horseback, in the arena and close to the action; his wife, Anita, is the sound engineer in the booth who keeps the loudspeakers booming out music and information.

Other unsung professionals who work behind the scenes to keep the action moving are the judges and the rodeo secretary, Hailey Schneeberger.

This year the action begins on Friday, April 29, 2016, at 3 p.m. with the crowning of this year’s rodeo queen, to be followed by barrel racing. On Saturday, the day starts with breakfast at the Stonyford Fire Hall, from 7 to 10 a.m. Breakfast is followed by a charming small-town parade at 10 a.m. that lasts for about an hour. The rodeo starts at 1 p.m.

The weekend continues on Sunday with breakfast, again at the Stonyford Fire Hall, from 7 to 10 a.m. Afterwards, you may attend worship at the Cowboy Church, in the rodeo arena at 8 a.m., or at either of our two protestant churches: The Stonyford Community Church, at 10:15 a.m. or the Indian Valley Assembly of God Church, at 11 a.m. The rodeo begins at Noon.

For overnight accommodations, it’s “Bring Your Own.” The nearest motels are forty miles distant, in either Willows, Williams or Colusa. That said, the camping in Stonyford is magnificent—the area is surrounded by high, often snow-covered peaks and is usually green. There is a large campground behind the arena and there are waterfront campgrounds at the Stonyford and Lodoga ends of the East Park Reservoir. The Stonyford end is about 2 miles away, and the Lodoga end, about 8 miles. These are all fee-based campgrounds. Information for those at East Park Reservoir can be found at www.countyofcolusa.org, “Parks & Recreation,” and for the rodeo campground, at www.stonycreekhorsemen.org, “Camping.”

Come on out—you’ll have fun!

Submitted by: Roy Stewart

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