GUYMON, Okla. – Even though it was delayed by nearly three months, the cowboys that competed were quite pleased with the 2020 version of the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.
The volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo has been nominated by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Medium Rodeo of the Year. It’s a big tip of the hat from PRCA contestants and personnel for the hundreds of man-hours it took and the decision to move ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PRCA has four divisions to honor rodeos of various sizes in regards to their “added money,” which is the local dollars that are mixed with entry fees to make up the overall purse. The largest rodeos are $10,000-up, and Guymon is in the mix of events that feature $3,000-$9,999 in added money.
“This is a huge honor for our volunteers and for this community,” said Mitch Egger, the committee’s chairman. “Being nominated means the cowboys considered Pioneer Days Rodeo as one of the top five medium-sized rodeos in the country this year.
“This is also a big deal for the contract personnel we had at our rodeo. Frontier Rodeo was nominated again and has been the Stock Contractor of the Year. Our secretary, Amanda Sanders, is nominated again.”
Frontier Rodeo is the reigning six-time winner and has had some of the top stock in ProRodeo for more than a decade. While Frontier was the primary livestock producer, the firm brought in other companies to help add to the firepower of the bucking horses and bulls in the mix. It’s a tradition that’s been part of Pioneer Days Rodeo for about two decades.
It paid off with two 90-point rides in bull riding, an 89.5-point ride to win saddle bronc riding and an 89 to win bareback riding. In addition, there were many fast runs in the timed events, making the competition as tough as expected for the hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls that made their way to the Oklahoma Panhandle in August.
“We’re pleased to be one of the few rodeos, if not the only one, to increase our added money in this tough year,” said Ken Stonecipher, the rodeo committee’s production manager. “We had great sponsor support, and we had good attendance, especially on a sold-out Saturday night.”
This isn’t the first time Pioneer Days Rodeo has been recognized by the PRCA. There have been several nominations over the years, and in 2002, it was named the Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year. It all falls on a simple philosophy.
“We want to produce the right kind of rodeo that makes for great competition every year while also being an event that makes our community proud,” Egger said.
It seems to be working.