JOSEPH — Three rodeo contestants are in the running for the Harley Tucker Rodeo Series Award now in its 50th year, according to a press release.
The winner of individual rodeo awards wins $3,000 and a belt buckle at four rodeos, including Chief Joseph Days in Joseph, the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in Union, the St. Paul Rodeo in St. Paul and the Elgin Stampede in Elgin. Chief Joseph Days is the final rodeo in the series.
An accumulative award, currently at $13,000, goes to the winner of three of the four rodeos. At present, no competitors have entered all four and won at least two, so that pot will go unclaimed this year, according to spokeswoman Darlene Turner. Turner is the daughter of Tucker.
Still competing are Austin Foss with 10 points, Payton Wright with 9 points and Preston Peterson with 8.5 points. One contestant, Payden McIntyre, of Wyoming, earned 9 points at Union and St. Paul, but is not entered at Joseph or Elgin.
Previous three-time winners include Butch Knowles, of Heppner, who won $5,100; Rocky Steagall, of Irrigon, who won $3,100; and Brad Goodrich, of Hermiston, who won $10,500.
The Harley Tucker Rodeo Series Award was created in 1971 to honor Tucker, a rodeo producer and stock contractor from Joseph, who was one of the founders of Chief Joseph Days. The award was established in hopes of attracting more contestants to regional rodeos, the press release stated.
The funds for the rodeos and the accumulative award are provided by Farm Supply Distributors of Enterprise, the committees of the four rodeos and the grandchildren of the late Harley Tucker.