Broncs and Bulls

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain Ray Baird of Midvale puts a new spin on “mountain high” on this big paint at the 2017 Mountain High Broncs and Bulls. Baird came in third with combined score on two rides of 148.

Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo is back for its 15th run and it’s going to be a corker. The Western States Ranch Rodeo Association sanctioned event is part of the 8 Seconds Whiskey Ranch Bronc Riding Tour. Six Oregon cowboys are in the top 30 rankings for bronc riding this year.

The rodeo, which follows Enterprise Summerfest June 23, swings open the stock gates for the first event, Mutton Busting, at 5 p.m. at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds.

Any youth either seven years and younger and 50 pounds or lighter is welcome to grab some wool and ride for glory (and a silver buckle). A record 33 kids signed up last year.

Sign-up for the event at the Wallowa County Grain Growers Feed Department, 911 South River Street.

Next up are the cowboys with top riders in the Ranch Rodeo Circuit swinging a leg over a bronc or strapping down on a bull for the most fun you can have in eight seconds. Organizers expect 36 to 52 riders this year. Entries are often last minute as cowboys juggle schedules.

This year, all the rough stock will be supplied by the business duo of Bonnie (Eckley) Rasmussen and Debbie Scott of Tri State Rodeo Co.

They’ll be bringing Marmaduke, the Bull, along for fans to admire and photograph. Marmaduke is a gentle giant until he gets in the chute. He is known for high-flying kicks over his head.

The most unpredictable ride in the rodeo is also back with the Wild Horse Race, where teams of three cowboys attempt to control, saddle and ride a wild horse after it bursts out of the chute.

It takes a committed fellow to sign up for the event whether he’s the shankman (holding the lead rope), the mugger (trying to hold the horse by the halter) or the rider.

As of June 5, there were nine teams signed up.

And in a new twist, this year for the first time, there is a Wild Pony Race for youth approximately 12 years of age, organized by Wup Winn. Call Wup at 541-263-2968 to register.

Some lucky man or woman might win $100 during the rodeo if they’re crazy enough to try and get it “The Hard Way.” Just get out in the arena and try to snatch a $100 bill off the horns of a bull. Or maybe you fancy your chances at Bull Poker.

Wildhorse Resort and Casinos has once again supplied a prize package for some lucky rodeo fan. Enter when you buy a ticket to the rodeo and throw a stub of your ticket in the bucket.

Wallowa County’s very own Mountain High Drill Team will perform as members carry the flags.

Barrel man George Kinter will entertain throughout the show, Lee Daggett is the volunteer announcer and an army of volunteers helps produce the event.

The Rodeo wraps up with Steven K and the Bounty Hunters performing for the dance 9 p.m. Cloverleaf Hall. Tickets available at the door.

Tickets to the rodeo are available at Video Buffs in Enterprise, J&S Automotive in Wallowa and Sports Corral in Joseph and at the gate, adults $12; 7-12 $6 and those 6 and under are admitted free.

The rodeo event is scheduled after the Enterprise Summerfest concludes in downtown Enterprise.

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