2024 Oakdale PRCA Rodeo

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April 13 & 14

Cowboy Capital of the World

Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds brimming with activity

With the 72nd annual Oakdale PRCA, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, rodeo due Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, the East F Street rodeo grounds in Oakdale will see additional activities this week as well. Also, the Oakdale Cowboy Museum will host an event, Friday will bring slack at the rodeo grounds, Saturday night features the dance and there will be Cowboy Church on Sunday.

Prior to the Saturday competition, it’s the annual rodeo parade, which is always a crowd pleaser. The parade makes its way through Oakdale along F Street, with the watchers staking out their spot early to enjoy the parade. Here is a look at some of the signature events of Rodeo Week.

Thursday, April 11, Queen Coronation, Oakdale Cowboy Museum, 6 p.m. The museum at 355 East F Street will have a mixer Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the coronation of the new Oakdale Rodeo Queen is scheduled at 6 p.m. There is no admission fee for the event, being hosted

in conjunction with the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.

Candidates this year are Kyndal Castle and Lillian Crummey; the two compete in the categories of speech, horsemanship, ticket sales and photos. The newly crowned Rodeo Queen will have a busy year ahead, traveling to rodeos and events around the state to represent the Cowboy Capital.

Friday, April 12, Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, Slack, 8 a.m. The timed event slack begins at 8 a.m., with a $5 admission, and features team

roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and women’s breakaway roping. Following these events, the women’s barrel racing slack gets underway.

Saturday, April 13, Oakdale Rodeo Parade, 9 a.m.

The parade begins on the west side of town, at the corner of West F Street and Gilbert Avenue. The multitude of equestrian entries, musical performers, classic cars, community service clubs, local businesses and more all line up to take part. Grand Marshals this year are Ed and Darla Viohl, who have

a long history with the Oakdale Saddle Club.

The parade heads eastward on F Street, continuing to the Foothill Oaks Shopping Center, 1449 East F, dispersing near SaveMart. A rain or shine event, the forecast indicates there should be mostly sunny skies this year for the parade.

Saturday, April 13, PRCA Rodeo, first performance at the Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, 1:30 p.m.

Ticket prices at the gate are $20 for adults, ages 13 and over; $10 for children ages 7 to 12. Those 6 and under are admitted free. Festivities kick off with the Grand Entry at 1:30 p.m. followed by several hours of competition in events from steer wrestling to bull riding. Good performances on Saturday can lead to belt buckles and prize money on Sunday.

Saturday, April 13, Oakdale Rodeo Dance, 8 p.m.

Hosted at the Rodeo Grounds Clubhouse, the gates open at 7:30 p.m. for this 21 and over event. Admission is $10, with tickets only available at the door.

Live music, dancing and beverages, with the dance ending around midnight.

Sunday, April 14, Cowboy Church, 9 a.m.

Come start your Sunday morning with some of the world’s top cowboys; Cowboy Church is hosted at the Rodeo Grounds and offers a non-denominational service for all. No admission fee.

Sunday, April 14, PRCA rodeo, second performance at the Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, 1:30 p.m.

The festive Grand Entry once again starts the events at the rodeo grounds for Sunday’s competition, as cowboys look to nail down the individual event and allaround honors. Sunday is also set aside as Breast Cancer Awareness Day, with attendees asked to wear pink in support of the “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” campaign. Ticket prices at the gate are $20 for adults, ages 13 and over; $10 for children ages 7 to 12. Those 6 and under are admitted free.

Mayor looking forward to Rodeo Week festivities

Welcome, cowboys, cowgirls, and rodeo enthusiasts!

As the mayor of the Cowboy Capital of the World, it’s my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to our annual rodeo. Get ready for thrilling rides, electrifying competitions, and the true spirit of the Wild West. Let’s saddle up and celebrate the enduring legacy of our cowboy culture. Enjoy the rodeo, y’all!

To The Oakdale Leader • The Riverbank News • The Escalon Times • Wednesday, April 10, 2024
A Supplement
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Oakdale’s Ed and Darla Viohl named Grand Marshals

They are both honored and excited; longtime Oakdale residents Ed and Darla Viohl will have the prime spot for the Oakdale Rodeo Parade on Saturday morning, April 13. The duo has been selected to serve as Grand Marshals for the parade and will also enjoy taking part in the Grand Entry at the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon rodeo competitions.

Ed and Darla have been married for more than 13 years, both having lost their previous spouse. Ed has lived in Oakdale since 1966 and has been involved with the Oakdale Saddle Club for nearly three decades. Darla was born and raised in Texas and though she hasn’t lived here quite as long as her now-husband, she has also been active in the Saddle Club over the years. “We have helped with the VIP booth, getting people in there,” Ed said of where

their main focus has been during rodeo time the past few years. But in 2024, they will get to sit in that VIP area, enjoying the rodeo and sharing the Western way of life with those surrounding them.

“It’s quite an honor,” Ed said.

He joined the Oakdale Police Department in 1966 and moved to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department in 1968; he served there as a deputy sheriff for many years and was a founding member of the department’s mounted patrol unit. Darla worked for many years at Campbell’s Soup in Modesto.

Along with Saddle Club involvement, Ed spent many years in service to the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, including a couple of terms as president. He continues to be a part of the Chamber Foundation board, which helps oversee the scholarship program.

He pointed to the fun ‘Arrest Round Up’ during Rodeo Week that helps raise funds for those scholarships as an important feature of the festivities. He and Darla also marveled at the number of luncheons around the community – an idea that originally began with the Cowgirl Luncheon and has now expanded to include several other options for those that can’t get into the always-sold-out ‘Cowgirl’ event.

“We enjoy preparing for the rodeo and watching it all come together,” Ed said. “It’s also great to have the Queen coronation downtown.”

“Oakdale does such a great job with all the events,” Darla agreed.

The two are looking forward to the parade, happy that the forecast doesn’t include rain, and are ready to embrace the role of Grand Marshal.

“This will be the first year I haven’t worked that weekend,” Ed joked.

Asked about their favorite part of the Rodeo Week festivities, Darla confided that Ed’s ‘must have’ is the biscuits and gravy that Norm Mendenhall makes on Friday and Saturday mornings at the rodeo grounds, while everything is getting prepped for the action to come.

“I think I enjoy watching the people,” Darla said, with plenty of folks coming to town for the rodeo and associated activities.

Both Ed and Darla have spent a fair amount of time over the years working on projects at the grounds, as there is always a project underway and lots of maintenance to do. Starting in February, Ed said, the work really kicks into high gear, preparing for the big weekend.

Ed said he is glad to also see a strong working relationship between the Saddle Club and the City of Oakdale, as the rodeo is a beneficial event for the city

in terms of revenue brought in.

And for Ed, he has seen the rodeo itself continue to grow in popularity.

Everybody loves a (rodeo) parade

“They’re doing something right,” he said of Saddle Club leaders. “They’ve improved it every year and it is a good quality rodeo.”

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Longtime Oakdale Saddle Club members and supporters, Ed and Darla Viohl of Oakdale have been selected as the Grand Marshals for the 2024 rodeo parade, set for Saturday, April 13. Photo By Marg Jackson Oakdale’s Fair Oaks Elementary School had a bus filled with Falcons at the annual Rodeo Parade in 2023, waving and smiling to spectators as they passed by along the parade route on F Street. The Modesto chapter of the AAHMES Shriner Club are always a fun hit with parade goers at the annual Rodeo Parade, riding in their ‘mini-lizzies’ vehicles.
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Oakdale Inferno competition cheerleaders brought the spirit as they passed out Mountain Mike’s pizza coupons at the annual Oakdale Rodeo Parade in 2023.
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Rodeo Grounds LEFT: A familiar voice at the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, Jody Carper has been announcing the competition here for the past several years.
From The
RIGHT: The hat goes flying as this competitor in the bareback riding looks to stay on and get a good score. Photos
Arguably the crowd’s favorite event, the bull riding keeps everyone on the edge of their seats to see who wins the battle – rider or bull.
help corral the bull and keep the bull rider safe after being thrown from the bull, the bullfighters have one of the toughest jobs in rodeo.
Competitors stretch and get mentally prepared for the competition, waiting in the chutes before the action starts.
Grand Entry on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons features members of the Oakdale Saddle Club bringing in the colors as they enter the arena. Before
first event begins, those in the stands are asked to bow their heads for a prayer and then stay standing for the National Anthem.
Bareback riders, should they stay on for a scoring run, then move from their horse to the rescue horse, getting safely out of the ring. Tie down roping is one of the faster events, with the competitor in a race against the clock to post the best time. Providing a humorous, ongoing commentary and bantering back and forth with the rodeo announcer, the rodeo clown is a staple of the PRCA event.
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LEFT: There is no shortage of rodeo royalty at the Oakdale PRCA Rodeo; many come in and join the festivities for the Grand Entry. RIGHT: Whether it’s a cold water, a hot pizza, burgers or beer, there is all manner of food and drink available during the rodeo. Photos By Marg Jackson The crowd turns out every year – rain or shine – for the Oakdale Saddle Club rodeo; this year the forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures reaching about 80 degrees.
and barrel racing
for the
taking part in the rodeo. Grand entry showcases some of the area’s young equestrians, already gearing up to be an important part of the Cowboy Capital’s signature event. Booths set up around the rodeo grounds for the weekend feature merchandise, food, beverages and information. Happy with recording a score on Sunday afternoon in the bull riding event in 2023, this competitor shared a smile with the crowd.
Scenes From The Rodeo Grounds
are among

Original Cowgirl Luncheon, Arrest Round Up are staples

This year, that special honoree is Debby Sanguinetti, a Cowboy Capital native who has been involved in showing and riding horses since she was a teenager.

She has also been recognized previously with the “Vaquero Award” presented by the National Reined Cow Horse Association for her efforts on behalf of promoting that group.

It’s a familiar sight; you have the seasoned rodeo watchers and those who may be attending for the very first time, co-existing in the stands at the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds for the weekend. If you haven’t been before, it may get a little confusing to hear some of the terms that longtime attendees know from past years in the arena. There is a certain language to the sport, and here are some of the frequently used terms and their meanings, as provided by the PRCA, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Breaking the barrier: This occurs during a timed event when a rider leaves the box too soon, failing to give the bull a sufficient head start. Riders who break the barrier are assessed a 10-second penalty.

Bullfighter: An athlete who protects the bull rider after he dismounts or is bucked off. A bullfighter can distract the bull by directing its attention to the exit gate or even stepping between the bull and the bull rider.

Chute: A pen that holds an animal safely in position.

In 2009, she won the National Western Stock Show Versatility Horse Classic in Denver, Colorado, representing the Cowboy Capital.

Sanguinetti will be the guest of honor at the Wednesday, April 10 luncheon.

“Most of the women that come to this event come to have a good time and we’re appreciative of that,” Oakdale Cowboy Museum Manager Bambi Porter said of the luncheon that sees cowboys delivering the plates of food and the various libations, making sure that all in attendance have plenty to eat and drink.

But Porter said the focus is also on recognizing those important women in the community who have continued to highlight Oakdale’s

Draw: Conducted three days before each PRCA rodeo, the draw is random and assigns each roughstock competitor a specific bucking horse or bull. Time-event contestants are assigned a calf or steer in a random onsite draw shortly before each rodeo begins.

Flags: Used in rodeo’s timed events so judges can signal the timers to stop the clocks. Judges in the arena will drop the flags.

Flankman: A cowboy or cowgirl who works in the bucking chutes, adjusting the flank strap around the animal

proud Western heritage.

On Thursday, it’s another longstanding event that is a fun and fundraising part of the week’s action. The Arrest Round Up put on through the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce sends the posse out to ‘arrest’ unsuspecting folks who have had their time in jail bought by their friends, family or co-workers. Once sentenced, the arrestee gets put in the makeshift jail at the local H-B Saloon and has to call around to raise the bail money to get let out. Chamber officials say it can be anything from leaving dirty dishes in the sink to stealing a parking spot; whatever the offense, arrest them. The Arrest Round Up runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 11.

All the funds raised go to support scholarships provided through the Chamber of Commerce. Oakdale Cowboy Museum Manager Bambi Porter addressed all the cowgirls at the 21st annual Cowgirl Luncheon in 2023. Photo

Hazer: The cowboy who rides on the right side of the steer from the contestant to make sure the steer runs straight.

Hooey: The knot a cowboy uses to finish tying the calf’s legs together in tiedown roping.

Piggin’ string: The small rope used to tie a calf ’s legs together in tie-down roping.

Riggin’: A suitcase-style handhold customized to a rider’s grip and attached to a molded piece of leather that is cinched, with a pad, around the horse’s girth.

Roughstock: The bucking horses and bulls used in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding, usually bred and raised for the job.

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By Virginia Still The cowboys were serving the ladies at the Cowgirl Luncheon in 2023, providing a variety of beverages and a lunch plate highlighted by a large slab of beef. Photo By Virginia Still
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