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POWAY RODEO 43rd Annual 2015 OFFICIAL PROGR AM

FRIDAY, SEPT. 25 SATURDAY, SEPT. 26 A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE POWAY NEWS CHIEFTAIN & THE RANCHO BERNARDO/4S NEWS JOURNAL


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2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM PAGE 3

43rd Annual Poway Rodeo

In Memoriam

Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26 Rodeo Performances at

This 43rd annual Poway Rodeo program is dedicated to the late Russ Sheldon, a 42-year Poway resident and founding member of the Poway Rodeo and Poway Valley Riders Association. He died on May 7, 2015 at age 74. Sheldon served as Poway Rodeo chairman five times and was a former president, secretary and treasurer of the National Cowboy Arena Polo Association.

Poway Valley Riders Association grounds, 14336 Tierra Bonita Road

FRIDAY, Sept. 25 - Starts 7:30 p.m. Grounds open 5:30 p.m., Dance after rodeo. Adults, 13 & over: $19 * 12 & under: $12 * Preferred adult seating: $18 * Preferred child seating: $17 * Silver Buckle Seating (with food): $55 * Box Seating: $35 SATURDAY, Sept. 26 - Starts 1 p.m. Adults, 13 & over: $14 * 12 & under: $5 Family Pack: 2 Adults/3 Children (12 & under): $30 Preferred adult seating: $16 * Preferred child seating: $10 Silver Buckle Seating (with food): $20 * Box Seating: $25

Howdy! As the City of Poway celebrates Poway Days with various events in the months of September and October, be sure to include the Poway Rodeo on Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26 in your plans. This year’s event has something for everyone. Poway Rodeo will feature some of the top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls from across the country to compete in events like bull riding, bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, barrel racing and for the kids, junior barrels and mutton busting. As the chairman of Pro Rodeo Productions of Poway, I must express my sincere gratitude to our generous sponsors and all of the volunteers. Especially the volunteers, who so graciously give up many hours of their own time to organize and work during the rodeo and activities to bring entertainment to the community. Be sure to mark your calendars for Sept. 25 and 26 to come join us at the rodeo. This year, we have a new half-time show and new vendor booths for your enjoyment. I look forward to seeing you there!

Joe Stupar

2015 Poway Rodeo chairman

2015 POWAY RODEO

Friday, September 25 • 7:30 PM Saturday, September 26 • 1:00 PM Saturday September 26 • 7:30 PM

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SATURDAY, Sept. 26 - Starts 7:30 p.m. Grounds open 5:30 p.m., Dance after rodeo. General admission (all ages): $19 * 5 & under: Free if they sit on lap. Preferred adult seating: $22 * Preferred child seating: $17 Kids Day Silver Buckle Seating (with food): $55 * Box Seating: $40 Ticket price includes pre-evening rodeo concerts by countr y recording star Mark Connors. Rodeo Dance on the grounds immediately following the rodeo. No cover charge – 21 and over Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26.

On-site parking $10 There is $5 parking in the Circle K Lot and the Connection Church. There is a drop off at Twin Peaks and Tierra Bonita.

Purchase tickets online at www.powayrodeo.com. Tickets will also be sold at the arena on the days of the performances.


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PAGE 4 2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM

Enjoy Poway Rodeo Action on Sept. 25 and 26 BY MICHAEL BOWER

Some of the top cowboys will be competing in the steer wrestling event at the Poway Rodeo. File photo Salt River Rodeo Company will be providing the livestock for the sixth straight year. The company has been in the business for over 20 years. Salt River is also providing the pickup men, Cody and Tanner Resor. This year’s rodeo clown is also a familiar face. J.J. Harrison, who recently turned 40, will be the specialty act at the Poway Rodeo for the second time since receiving his Professional Cowboy Association

membership in 2007. The last time was in 2012. “The crowd (at the Poway Rodeo) is fun and they are interactive,” said Harrison, who is known for his fat-guy-clown suits and off-the-cuff comedy. “The people show up and they enjoy being entertained. They are not the most rodeo savvy group, but the people know they want to be entertained and I am going to work hard to do that.” The Poway Rodeo was just

Tie-down roping is one of the seven competitions at the rodeo. File photo

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The Poway Rodeo has long had the slogan: “A Brand Above The Rest.” And nobody can argue with the claim considering all the top-notch talent it continues to bring back year after year. Some of the best in the business will be here again for the 43rd annual Poway Rodeo, which opens with a single show Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Poway Valley Riders Association grounds. There will be two shows Saturday, Sept. 27 (1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). “It’s amazing,” Poway Rodeo committee member Nancy Kirchhofer said. “Wayne Brooks has been announcer of the year several times so he is the best you can get. Our rodeo stock company takes stock to the National Finals Rodeo every year so they are among the best you can get. And they are all wonderful people.” Brooks indeed will be back to do the announcing for the 12th straight year. The 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2014 Announcer of the Year is always a crowd favorite.

shy of drawing 12,000 people over the three shows last year. The hope is to hit the 12,000 mark this year, which would mean the standingroom only space at the arena would be capped. “I hope we can hit that number,” Kirchhofer said. It certainly will not hurt having food trucks available and a new bar area called “Hitching Post.” The area will have one or two TVs showing all the rodeo action, catering to the people who do not like to sit in the bleachers. “Tickets will be a little less and it is for the people that would like to sit in a bar-type area and watch the rodeo on TV,” Kirchhofer said. “It will be a nice little feature.” Children will once again have plenty to do, making the rodeo a family-friendly event. The always-popular kids’ rodeo events will include Mutton Busting – children under 50 pounds and at least 3 years of age try to ride a sheep for eight seconds — and Junior Barrel Racing. There is also a special VIP designated area for kids, which features face painting, a balloon artist and SEE RODEO, Page 5

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2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM PAGE 5

25th Year Proudly Supporting THE POWAY RODEO!

The 2015 Poway Rodeo Committee. Back row, left to right: Joe Rosenberg, Jeff Merzbacher, Linda Tone, Jack Tone, Brian Sesko, Ruthie Stauffer and Patrick Glass. Middle row: Tony Bevin, Bob Schaller, Margy Schaller, Darci Van Meter, Linda Todd, Nancy Kirchhofer, Paul DeJarnett and Eletha Norling. Front row: Duane Coppes, Jennifer Rough, Joe Stupar, Stephanie Lewis, Murray Bankhead and Linda Gordon. Photo by Criselda Yee

RODEO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

the Chick-fil-A cow. Lunch in the area is provided by Chick-fil-A. The whole family will be enter tained with the return of the Hole In the Wall Gang. The group from Lakeside will bring back the Old West through re-enactments and comedy during the intermission. Those who are coming to watch the professional rodeo riders should have plenty to cheer for again, as the PRCA-sanctioned event is the final chance for the cowboys to earn money to qualify for the National Rodeo Finals in December. The rodeo is comprised of seven competitions: bull riding, saddle bronc riding,

bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and barrel racing. Immediately following the rodeo on both nights is the Rodeo Dance. It’s free and open to everyone 21 and over. Ticket prices include a concert prior to the Friday and Saturday night rodeos by country music recording artist Mark Connors. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 6 p.m. For ticket information, go to the rodeo fact sheet on page 3 of this program. For more information about the rodeo and related activities, visit PowayRodeo. com.

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PAGE 6 2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM

What you should know Clowning around in Poway again about rodeo livestock

“I just did my own thing,” he said. “The only thing I cared about was when the big boom was coming, because J.J. Harrison remembers prepping for his first outing it seemed like there was always one during the entertainas a rodeo clown like it was yesterday. He spent countless ment acts and it would startle me. I always wanted to hours scripting three entertaining acts. He spent more know when it was coming and that was the only time I ever paid attention to the clown.” time practicing them. And that’s why now that he is a rodeo clown he gears Then came the rodeo — and the whole thing fell apart. “I remember being way over-prepared,” said Harrison, his acts toward the crowd. Harrison, who performed who was convinced by a friend to fill in as a rodeo clown as the rodeo clown at the Poway Rodeo in 2012, is wellfor the first time in 2005 in front of 7,000 people in Van- known for his fat-suit acts. “A lot of what I do is off-the-cuff couver, Washington. stuff,” he said. “I do the fat-guy“When it all fell apart, my offclown suit and I love football so I will the-cuff humor saved me. And throw Nerf footballs in the crowd. I it showed me that I didn’t have kind of just make up stuff as I go. to have a set joke. I could be I have gotten to used law enforcemore off-the-cuff and be reactive ment in my act. With all the negative to what is happening around me stuff going on about cops, I wanted and interactive with the crowd. I them to have fun, too. They are huthink with that I have been able man and like to have fun. It creates to create a pretty good persona.” a good environment.” So good that Harrison, who Harrison has suffered his fair recently turned 40, has worked share of injuries during his 10 a full schedule nearly every year Professional rodeo clown J.J. Harrison. years as a rodeo clown. He has had since receiving his Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association membership in 2007. It’s a cracked ribs, a broken back, hip surgery and a couple of far different life than the one he initially set out to have knee surgeries. Still, he knows it could be worse. “Every bull can kill you every time you are in there,” he as a full-time middle school teacher in Walla Walla, Washsaid. “A bull has a lot of body mass moving in one direcington. “I have always been kind of a ranch kid,” said Harrison, tion and it can’t stop or turn around instantly so you have who retired from teaching in 2008 to pursue his passion to place yourself in a smart spot and do your best to be as a rodeo clown. “I didn’t really start rodeo until my se- safe. But the reality is every bull that comes out could be nior year of college. I tried to be a bull rider and made the the last one you see.” Harrison, who has a 7-year-old son, Huck, says he is team at Washington State. I ended up getting my teaching degree and masters in education, but just decided to stay looking forward to being back in Poway. “The crowd is fun and they are interactive,” he said. involved with the rodeo.” Harrison had ridden bulls and roped for years, but it “The people show up and they enjoy being entertained. wasn’t until that day in 2005 he even thought of becoming They are not the most rodeo savvy group, but the people a rodeo clown. In fact, before that day he didn’t even pay know they want to be entertained and I am going to work hard to do that.” attention to the rodeo clowns.

BY MICHAEL BOWER

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• The average bucking horse or bucking bull works less than five minutes a year in the arena. • Rodeo livestock have long and healthy lives: Many of today’s top bucking horses are 20 years old, and many bulls are active buckers at 15 years of age. Veterinarians attribute these long, healthy life spans to good care, quality feed and adequate exercise. • Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rules prohibit the use of sharpened spurs and other implements that could harm an animal. • Human skin is one to two millimeters thick; horse hide is five millimeters thick; bull hide is seven millimeters thick. • Stock contractors invest a great deal of money in their breeding and purchase programs; many contractors pay up to five or even six figures for a top-rated bucking animal. Naturally, they are very motivated to take care of these investments. • Both bulls and horses have natural bucking tendencies; many do so while playing together in pastures, just as horses naturally race each other. What makes an animal a candidate for rodeo livestock is the absolute determination to buck if something is on its back — often an inherited characteristic, which breeders now work carefully to bring out in “Born to Buck” programs. • PRCA rules require flank straps to be lined with fleece or neoprene in the flank area (similar to a human waist); flank straps are tightened just enough to encourage the animal to kick behind itself instead of hopping around the arena. Overtightening would result in the animal’s refusal to move at all, much less buck. Flank straps do not contact an animal’s genitals. • The PRCA prohibits the use of electric prods in competition except for horses known to be “chute stallers” — that is, they sometimes hesitate coming out of the chute and then may start bucking in the chute, creating risk to themselves and possibly to contestants. The prod may be used in this case if, and only if, the judge, stock contractor and contestant agree that it is necessary to protect the safety of the animal and/or contestant.

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PAGE 8 2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM

Photo provided

The Hole in the Wall Gang.

Hole in the wall gang     

returning to perform 

   skits and meet fans

   

BY EMILY SORENSEN The 43rd annual Poway Rodeo will have a little more historical fun with the Hole in the Wall Gang, performing during half-time. The historical reenactment group, who call Lakeside home, will return for a second year to entertain the crowds at the rodeo with skits. “We’ll be doing skits on horseback,� said David Sommerville, president of the Hole in the Wall Gang. The Hole in the Wall Gang will be performing both during half-time and in a surprising pre-rodeo appearance during a performance by singer Mark Connors. Rodeo attendees will also get the chance to meet members of the group prior to the start of the rodeo, when several members in full gear will be on horseback in front of the arena to greet attendees. “We did this last year and it was a success, so we’re doing it again,� said Sommerville. “We’ve got some characters and they’ll get to meet them.� The group also appeared at last year’s rodeo, and have performed at several other rodeos around Southern California. “We’re doing more and more rodeos and upping our game,� said Sommerville. The Hole in the Wall Gang has been around

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since the 1940s, said Sommerville, and is the longest-standing reenactment group in Southern California. Made up of ever yone from businessmen to Hollywood actors and stunt men, the group does everything from rodeos, to performing at private events, to acting in movies and television shows. The group is well-known in the movie industry, said Sommerville. Their skits range from comedy to actual Old West historical reenactments. The group also does community events and fundraisers. Several members of the gang appeared in the Poway Days parade this year. “It’s a fantastic bunch of guys,� said Sommerville. “We’re very close-knit and careful who we let in.� Sommerville described his fellow reenactors as “a bunch of guys who like to keep the outlaw cowboy legends alive.� The Hole in the Wall Gang doesn’t just reenact for fun or love of cowboy history. They are a non-profit organization that supports Magic Horse Theraputic Riding Center, a horseback riding program for special needs children in Lakeside. The group has also sponsored youth rodeo queens and pageants in the past.

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2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM PAGE 9

Rodeo events guide mark connors to sing Before Bareback riding Bareback riding is one of the most physically demanding events in rodeo. A bareback rider sits directly on a bucking horse, with only his own “riggin’” to hang onto. As the horse comes out of the chute, the cowboy’s feet must be above the break of the horse’s shoulders. He holds his feet up at least through the horse’s first move, usually a jump, then spurs the horse on each jump, matching the horse’s rhythm and showing control rather than flopping around. He may not touch the horse, his equipment or himself with his free hand. If the ride lasts eight seconds, two judges award up to 25 points each for the cowboy’s “exposure” to the strength of the horse and his spurring technique and up to 25 points each for the horse’s bucking strength and moves.

Steer wrestling Steer wrestling demands coordination between two mounted cowboys — the contestant and a hazer who controls the steer’s direction — and their horses. The cowboys back their horses into the box on each side of the steer. When the contestant nods, the chute gate opens and the steer gets a head start before the cowboys start to chase him. As the steer wrestler

draws even, he dismounts from his horse, which is moving at perhaps 30 miles an hour. He grasps the steer’s horns and digs his boot heels into the dirt to slow down the 500- to 600-pound steer. Then he wrestles the steer onto its side; when all four legs point in the same direction, the clock stops. Times vary widely depending on the size of the arena.

Team roping Team ropers work as partners: one header and one heeler who move in precise coordination. They and their horses start in the “box.” When the header nods, the chute gate opens and the steer gets a head start. The header throws the first loop, which must catch the steer’s head or horns, protected by a horn wrap. Then the header dallies — wraps his rope around his saddle horn — and moves his horse to pull the rope taut, changing the direction of the steer. That gives the heeler the opportunity to catch both of the steer’s hind legs with his own rope; most heelers try to time their throws to catch the legs when they are in the air. After the catch, the heeler also dallies, to stop the steer. When the ropes are taut and both horses face the steer, the time is recorded. Times vary widely depending on the size of the arena. SEE EVENTS, Page 10

friday, saturday night rodeos

on his website, “Mark Connors is a true cowboy. He can break and train, as well as rope horses and has Country singer Mark Connors is returning to per- worked at several large dude ranches, primarily as form the pre-show concert for both Poway Rodeo eve- guest host and entertainer.” ning performances. According to his bio, during the 1980s Connors Connors, who also sang at last year’s rodeo, will fronted the band Victory, but switched from rock to start his concerts at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 and Satur- country in 1999 when he wrote a song that caught day, Sept. 26. Gates open the attention of those at 5:30 p.m. and the roin Nashville. deo will begin at 7:30 p.m. When asked why each night. The concert is he prefers country included with rodeo ticket music, Connors said, admission. For tickets, go “Because I’m singing to powayrodeo.com/tickfrom my heart and ets. writing from my soul. He said the Hole in the Country is all about Wall Gang will join him for heart and soul.” one of the songs during Connors said due each of his performances to volunteer efforts by and will perform a patriotthe City of Poway and ic-type skit. Poway Sheriff’s DeThe long-time awardpartment, he will be winning musician who able to walk the crowd lives in San Diego County Country singer Mark Connors. Photo provided after each rodeo congot his start in the entercert, where fans will tainment industry as a child and began playing mu- have an opportunity to speak with him, take photos sic as a teen. He said most of the songs performed and get autographs. “I like to be more personal with during his upcoming Poway concerts will be material my fans,” he said. that attendees will recognize. He has released several singles and CDs, including “They will be songs catered to the rodeo crowd, “It’s All About the Country.” His music is also availgroup stomping and all American country cowboy able on iTunes. Samples can be heard on his websongs,” he said. site, markconnorscountrymusic.com. The website Connors is very familiar with what cowboys and also has music videos, including his performance of rodeo folks like to hear since according to his bio “Stuck on You.”

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PAGE 10 2015 POWAY RODEO PROGRAM

EVENTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9

Saddle bronc riding In rodeo’s classic event, the saddle bronc rider sits on a specialized saddle – it has no horn, and the stirrups are set forward. In the chute, the cowboy adjusts his grip on the rein and perhaps the horse’s position. When the gate opens, his boots must be above the breaks of the horse’s shoulders. After the horse’s first move, usually a jump, the cowboy begins spur ring in long, smooth strokes, in sync with the horse’s jumps — legs straight when the bronc comes down, toward the back of the saddle at the top of the jump. His only handhold is a six-foot braided rope; his free hand may not touch his equipment, his body A cowboy doing saddle bronc riding at a or the horse. If the ride lasts previous Poway Rodeo. File photo the required eight seconds, it is scored by two judges — one on each side — who assess difficulty and control. Each judge awards up to 25 points for the cowboy’s performance and up to 25 points for the animal’s performance, for a potential of 100 points.

Tie-down roping To start this sprinting event, the tie-down roper and his horse back into the box; the cowboy carries a rope in one hand and a “piggin’ string” in his mouth. When the cowboy nods, the chute opens and the calf gets a head start. The cowboy throws

SPRINKLERS

a loop over its head; his horse stops and pulls the rope taut while the cowboy jumps off, dashes down the rope, lays the calf on the ground and uses the piggin’ string to tie any three of its legs together. Then he lifts his hands to show he is finished, and the field flag judge drops a flag to stop the clock. The horse is trained to keep the rope taut until the cowboy remounts and moves the horse toward the calf, giving the rope slack. If the calf’s legs stay tied correctly for six seconds, it’s a qualified run and The Shooting Stars Drill Team performs each year at the Poway Rodeo. File photo the time stands. eight seconds without touching himself, his equipment or the bull with his free hand. The cowboy will be scored highly for Barrel racing Barrel racing is just that – a race against time in a cloverleaf staying in the middle of the bull, in full control of the ride. If the ride lasts the required eight seconds, it is scored by two judges pattern around three barrels set up in the arena. A rider can choose to begin the cloverleaf pattern to the right who assess difficulty (the bull’s spinning, jumping and kicking, or left. The time begins when the horse and rider cross the lunging, rearing and dropping, and sideto-side motion) as well predetermined start line and stops when they come back across as the cowboy’s degree of control. Each judge awards up to 25 points for the cowboy’s perforthe same line. Each run is timed to the hundredths of a second, making every fraction of a second count. Each tipped-over barrel mance and up to 25 points for the animal’s performance, for adds a five-second penalty to the time. a potential of 100 points.

Bull riding Bull riding is rodeo’s most dangerous event. In the chute, the bull rider settles on the bull’s back, wraps his braided rope around the bull’s girth, then loops the rope around his hand and back into his palm so he can grip it tightly. When he nods, the gate is opened and the bull lunges out of the chute. Spurring is optional — the primary goal for the cowboy is to stay on for

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Steer roping Some PRCA rodeos include steer roping, which resembles tie-down roping but requires the cowboy to catch and control a large steer (about 450-600 lbs.). The mounted cowboy backs into the box and nods when he’s ready; the steer gets a head start, just as the calf does in tie-down roping. The Bull riding at the rodeo. File photo cowboy must catch the steer by first roping it around the horns, which are protected by horn wraps and reinforced with rebar. Then he tosses the rope over the steer’s right hip and rides to the left, bringing the steer to the ground, a frontier technique modern ranch cowboys still use to bring down full-grown steers that need medical attention. When the steer is lying on its side and the rope is taut, the rider dismounts and runs to the steer, tying any three of its legs. As in tie-down roping, the steer’s legs must remain tied for six seconds after the tie is complete and the roper remounts his horse.

All-around Many cowboys compete in more than one event. Some rodeo committees award a special prize to the top money-earner among all the cowboys who entered more than one event at their rodeos, starting with the cowboy who won the most money in two or more events – the all-around champion, a prestigious title indeed.

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