I’d been around rodeo quite a bit the first time I walked onto the grounds of the Dodge City Roundup Arena in 1994, but I took a major step in my career on that acreage.
I was still a wet-behind-the-ears journalist trying to take in everything the newspaper game had to offer while working at the Dodge City Daily Globe. What I quickly found was just how much rodeo had taken to my heart. Roundup is the biggest rodeo in my home state of Kansas, and other rodeos in the Sunflower State have been the beneficiaries of having their events the same week as Dodge City; Abilene, Hill City, Phillipsburg, etc., draw the top players in the game every year because of the dates.
In addition, Dodge City Roundup has been the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event of the year several times. Add it all up, and you can see why Roundup is part of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame class of 2012.
It’s a distinguished honor, and the folks who have been part of Roundup’s past are to be credited with its success today. The rodeo is part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, and it brings thousands of rodeo fans to southwest Kansas every summer.
I haven’t been back to the Roundup’s hallowed grounds in nearly seven years, but my memory goes back often. I go back to listening to the calls by Clem McSpadden and Phil Gardenhire, two of ProRodeo’s greatest announcers, and watching the action of cowboys wearing Brushpopper shirts.
Congratulations to all those who had a hand in making Dodge City Roundup one of the best.