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Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo 2015

The Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo is a wonderful tradition held every spring in Payson, Arizona. The rodeo is held between May 14-16. bring the whole family.

Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo 2015

Gary Hart Memorial Spring Rodeo

Gary Hart Memorial Spring Rodeo

Every spring in Payson, Arizona something special occurs. Named as the Best Small Town Rodeo by True West magazine, the rich tradition that is alive and well in this area leads thousands of Payson pro rodeo fans to gather each year to experience the thrills and spills of the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo. For every cowboy and cowgirl in Arizona who loves a great PRCA rodeo, this is a must-see. Despite receiving rainy weather throughout its duration, this year’s event still saw a great turnout and lots of excitement. Held from May 14-16, both fans and competitors were treated to the usual amounts of excitement and entertainment each and every night.

Event History

This rodeo, sanctioned by the PRCA and named after veteran bull rider and Payson native Gary Hardt, has become an annual tradition in this part of Arizona. Hardt, who died in 1987, began his career in 1962 and established himself as a world-class bull rider and roper. This event, coordinated by the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee, is held to benefit local youth who have achieved extraordinary results in educational and athletic endeavors.


Gary Hart Memorial Spring Rodeo

Gary Hart Memorial Rodeo

As any cowboy or cowgirl knows, the various competitions held each night always lend themselves to lots of surprises. As is always the case with this event, there were plenty of thrills and spills that delighted the crowd. Whether it was bull riding, steer roping or barrel racing, there was something to excite each and every member of the crowd. May 14, the first night of the competition, treated fans to Cactus WPRA Barrel Racing that showed off the amazing skills of those competing. And to make the night even better, admission consisted of only one can of food, which led to a tremendous donation of food items to local charities. May 15 was billed as Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, where each cowboy and cowgirl wore pink to show their support for cancer awareness and research. The final night, May 16, was a tribute to wounded and fallen veterans and featured a special patriotic performance.
For those who live in Payson and surrounding areas, this PRCA Payson Pro Rodeo offers not only a chance to see some of rodeo’s best compete in many events, but also provides a chance to give back to the community. While Gary Hardt may no longer be around to showcase his skills and delight crowds, the rodeo named in honor of him continues to bring joy to those attending as well as help others less fortunate.

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I am a student at ASU Walter Cronkite studying mass communications. I enjoy being outdoors and everything technology has to offer.

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