A little over a week ago, the Cowboy Lifestyle Network, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Earnhardt Auto Centers Road Team visited Spooner, Wisconsin to check out the 62nd edition of the legendary PRCA Spooner Rodeo. Like most rodeos that CLN attends, the Spooner Rodeo showcased all the main rodeo events, but also included the never dull Mutton Bustin event, similar to bull riding or bronc riding, but where children ride or race sheep instead.
The bleachers were packed with enthusiastic crowds all four days, waiting to see which cowboys and cowgirls would take home a piece of the fine purse worth over $80,000. The town of Spooner also celebrated the rodeo with a fantastic parade on Saturday, in addition to live musical entertainment every night at the rodeo grounds.
Perhaps one of the most pleasingly heart-felt, rewarding nights was Thursday evening before the official rodeo began. The “Exceptional Rodeo,”
where special kids with special needs were able to star in their own “Exceptional Rodeo Performance,” took place, fully engaging parents, kids, and audiences for 45 minutes. The children were partnered with cowboys and cowgirls who assisted them in specially designed events such as steer roping, 8 second rides on hand-rocked bulls and horses, steer wrestling, and a flag race on walking horses. They received cowboy hats, bandanas, and t-shirts, individual recognition, and trophies as souvenirs for their participation. The fun, smiles, and hugs were unforgettable.
In addition, the CLN team had the chance to mingle with some of the bull riders of the Spooner Rodeo including John Smith, Coleman Entze, and champion, Riley Blankenship of Kildeer, North Dakota, who won with a score of 86. Blankenship, born in Miles City, Montana, followed after both his father and grandfather’s footsteps who also rode bulls. There is no doubt that rodeo is in his blood as members of both sides of his family participated in the rodeo scene at one point of their lives. Since the age of 5, Blankenship remembers riding calves and getting prepared for riding bulls. CLN was not sure if he was prepared to brake his elbow during his ride the next day, but Blankenship assured the team that his surgery went well and will be back to compete in 8 weeks. Riley Blankenship is only 21, so we wish him speedy recovery and a fulfilling career.
Stay tuned for more exciting Cowboy Lifestyle Network, Ak-Chin Indian Community and Earnhardt Auto Centers Road Team visits to rodeos and everything country around the world!