GERRY - The Gerry Fire Department has signed contracts with Painted Pony Pro Rodeo for the biggest summer of rodeo action in its 69-year history of bringing pro rodeo to Western New York as the traditional four-day rodeo, plus a two-day "Bulls and Barrels" event, and a free PRCA Rodeo School come to the Gerry site this spring and summer.
The 69th annual rodeo, now the longest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi, is scheduled July 31 through Aug. 3 with shows nightly at 8. In addition, due to fans' requests, an afternoon performance has been added at 2 p.m. on Aug. 3 with a free children's rodeo set for 11a.m.
Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell says he expects this to be the "biggest and best" rodeo ever as the prize money will be at an all-time high with more than 130 pro cowboys and cowgirls competing in the seven traditional rodeo events for approximately $35,000.
The Gerry Rodeo Committee and Painted Pony Pro Rodeo have signed contracts for the 2013 rodeo season. In front, from left, are Painted Pony Rodeo contractor Shawn Graham and Gerry Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell. In back are Painted Pony Rodeo co-owner Shana Graham and assistant rodeo chairman David Hall .
In addition, the rodeo will feature clown and barrelman Dusty Barrett with his the Roman Riding ponies along with the return of announcer Greg Simas, who emcees more than 100 events each year.
The traditional beef barbeque dinners will be served nightly beginning at 5 p.m. and the midway will have more than 20 vendors offering everything from fried dough to Western wear. New this summer is a two-day event, "Bulls and Barrels," which will give rodeo fans two hours of dangerous bull riding and exciting cowgirls' barrel racing each night on May 31 and June 1 at 7:30. In addition, "Coppertown Clown" Bert Davis will bring his 10 trained rescue dogs to perform in the arena.
Because of its history and tradition, the Gerry Rodeo has been chosen as one of only 13 rodeos nationwide to host a free PRCA Championship Rodeo Camp on April 20. This school is open to anyone eight years old and older who would like to learn more about the sport of rodeo and perhaps become part of the next generation of rodeo stars. Instruction will be handled by current professional rodeo cowboys with instruction both in the classroom and the rodeo arena.
Additional information about all of these events is available at the rodeo website gerryrodeo.org