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Rodeo Rounds up a Riveting Crowd

Mitch Van Cleave

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The Fair Grove Saddle Club Rodeo took place on the Fall Festival weekend, September 29th-30th. The rodeo was considered to be a success, bringing in large amounts of people with events such as Bareback and Saddle-back Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Breakaway Roping and Bull Riding.

The rodeo was planned and organized by the Fair Grove Cowboy Church. The Church Head Pastor and Head Organizer for the rodeo, Heath Anderjaska stated, “We started a year ago preparing for this rodeo, we had meetings once a month, and we collected sponsorships. Everything made in the rodeo goes back to the community.” The animals used were acquired through a stock contractor. According to Anderjaska, the rodeo had between 200 and 300 participants. He knew he wanted to keep the event local, Anderjaska added, “It’s the hometown of course, where else would we hold an event like this?”

Bareback Bronc Rider, Chandler Ladner rode unopposed on Saturday night, the 29th. Ladner reported that he has participated in thousands of rodeos, and has been riding since he was 19 years old. Ladner normally performs in more competitive rodeos, and explains that he is used to placing first or second, and occasionally in the third place spot. When commenting on his performance in Saturday night’s rodeo, Ladner recounted, “I didn’t do very good. I got pretty hung up… It was pretty terrible and it hurt a bit.” Ladner did ride unopposed, so he didn’t have any other entrants or competition to stack up against.

The Fair Grove Rodeo was considered to be a general success among the community, and drew in a sizable crowd. There is hope for a return of the rodeo at next year’s Fall Festival, and the Fair Grove Saddle Club has multiple events that are open to the public.

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