GOODING, Idaho – Great athletes come in all shapes and sizes.
Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world, and LeBron James is trying to be his own version of Michael Jordan. Aaron Donald is 285 pounds and is as swift as a man much smaller, which is why he is one of the greatest defensive linemen in the NFL today.
In saddle bronc riding, 150-pound men are matched with 1,000-pound horses, and both show incredible athleticism throughout an eight-second ride. That type of agility and power will be on display during the Dirty Rotten Buckers, set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at Andy James Arena on the Gooding County Fairgrounds. Tickets are on sale now at GoodingProRodeo.com.
“This is going to be a special day for us in Gooding,” said Don Gill, manager of the Gooding County Fair and the Gooding Pro Rodeo. “This is a great opportunity for us to show off the great young talent we have in rodeo, both as cowboys and as bucking horses.”
Dirty Rotten Buckers is a multilevel competition featuring the rising stars of saddle bronc riding and the up-and-coming equine starts that will be featured in the sport for years to come. Dirty Rotten Buckers has been around for years, but this will be its first year in Gooding.
The organization was established by renowned pickup man Bobby Marriott and his wife, Michelle. It was purchased recently by Gene King and Jeremy Gordon, who are handling the heavy-lifting that comes with producing an event like this.
“This is a great event,” said King, who also co-owns King Rodeo Co. with his wife, Amanda. “This is a good chance for the stock contractors to show their horses and for the contestants to show their skills. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
It’s also going to be an action-packed day. The event is featuring $20,000 in “added” money, which is mixed with entry fees to make up the overall purse – $10,000 will go toward the cowboys, and $10,000 will go toward the broncs. While the entries will be limited to up to 35 head of horses, it is open to any livestock producer that wants to showcase his/her animal.
“If you have only one horse, you can come,” King said. “For the cowboys, it’s a pretty good deal. We want the college kids, the young bronc riders.”
Dirty Rotten Buckers will also serve as a chance for rodeo fans to get a taste of the action that comes to town a couple months later. The Gooding Pro Rodeo will take place Thursday, Aug. 18-Saturday, Aug. 20, with a special “Beauty and the Beast” performance set for Wednesday, Aug. 17. All performances take place at 8 p.m. at Andy James Arena.
“We teamed up with Dirty Rotten Buckers because we believe in this event, and we thought it would be something our fans would enjoy,” Gill said. “I think this is going to be a great partnership.”