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41st Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Highlights

Welcome to the Wild Side!

Grab hold of your hats, cause it’s time to get rowdy! That’s right folks, the Arizona Cowpunchers 41st Annual Reunion has come and gone. And if you weren’t there you missed a heck of a time. Three whole days packed with the ranchiest and most wild people you will probably ever be around. It’s a nonstop weekend packed full with barn dances, daily performances, and your typical nighttime shenanigans! 

Courtesy of Rail Three Ranch Photography

The Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Association all started in the 1970s when a group of cowboys came up with the idea to have a “Working Cowboy’s Rodeo”. In October of 1978, they held the very first “Old-Time Cowboy’s Reunion Rodeo”  in good old Flagstaff Arizona, at the Avery Kowboy Kuntry Klub Arena. But because everyone competing were ranchers, the following year they changed the date to August so more people could attend before the Fall Works. The rodeo continued to take place at Avery’s arena until 1981 when it burned down. 

Courtesy of Rail Three Ranch Photography

Because the rodeo was so popular some of the cowboys who were involved in the beginning started the Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Association in 1982. As more cowboys joined in on this, they began to take membership fees and the association formed Officers and Committees. You were only allowed to become a member if you were working on a ranch or if you were a past rancher who still maintained a close relationship to ranching. For a few years, the rodeo was moved back and forth between Flagstaff and Williams, until 1997 when it returned back to Williams and is still held there today. 

The events seen at this rodeo are unlike any typical events. Each event is one that shows what these cowboys do on a typical day. In other words, you ain’t going to see any barrel racing or bull riding. Instead, events such as the Wild Horse Race, Wild Cow Milking, Cowboy Bronc Riding, Steer Riding, Dally Calf Roping, Team Tying, Ribbon Roping, etc. are seen at this rodeo. The whole purpose is to display the hard work that these cowboys do every day. 

Courtesy of Rail Three Ranch Photography

Although this year’s rodeo has already past, there will always be next year. So if I were you I would pack a bag and load up the family because it’s truly a great time for everyone to go out and enjoy what this rodeo has to offer! And thank you to everyone who helped put the Arizona Cowpunchers 41st Annual Reunion together, I think I can speak for everyone when I say you guys did a great job! Also a huge thank you to Rail Three Ranch Photography for capturing all the great memories this past weekend! 

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Sarah Serrano-Smith is a native Arizonan, who comes from a competitive rodeo family. She is planning to graduate with her degree in Agriculture Business and a minor in Journalism. In her free-time she enjoys competing at rodeos and jackpots.

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