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Stonyford hosts 69th annual rodeo
There is something priceless and glorious about a small-town rodeo that only those who attend ever get to experience. And there is something to be said of walking up to an event where a 4-year-old boy stops in his tracks and tips his cowboy hat to you.
Rodeo lovers got to see all that makes the sport special Saturday and Sunday during the 69th annual Stonyford Rodeo.
If you are a child, everything about the rodeo is magical; the horses and cows are gigantic creatures from another world, the cheering crowd a spectacle, and the clowns dressed in colorful suspenders and hats are like Broadway, only better.
As an adult, the rodeo has just as many appealing aspects, from the grills fired up to the historical appreciation of the various sports and events of the day, and especially the athleticism of the people and the animals.
Some people think of rodeos as a large hillbilly party, but they are wrong. Yes, there are a lot of plaid shirts and cowboy hats scattered in the crowd, and brave newbies are easily recognized by their lobster-colored skin. And the sounds of farm animals, various southern accents and spurs clinking by echo about all day long.
What many that haven't attended a rodeo fail to recognize is the feeling that comes with watching and being at one - a sense of community, precious time spent outdoors with family and friends and the joy of a national heritage that is older than most sporting events around today.
Rodeos now-a-days are actually a mix of the venerable and the new-fangled, contrary to what some may think. At Stonyford you could see how the new has interjected itself into the old. The medicine boots adorning the legs of the prized equine athletes are sleeker and fancier, while bull riders wear protective vests or helmets with attached masks. Also, women like Maggie Parker, a PRCA member from Michigan who joined the mostly male sport of bull riding three years ago and competed on Saturday, are another sign of progression.
Whether you recognize it as old time pageantry, a sporting event or something more akin to Roman entertainment, if you take the time to go to witness one in all of its glory first-hand, you will appreciate that it is all those things, and more. The people are genuine, the action legitimate and the memories you keep a testament to the enduring history of the thing called rodeo, and the Stonyford Rodeo was a shining example.
CONTACT Emily Saint-Evens at 824-7990 or firstname.lastname@example.org