By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: December 2007
Sallye Wiliams, leading ACRA barrel racing contender, will compete in this year’s American Finals Rodeo.
For the second consecutive year, the Claremore Expo will host the American Cowboys Rodeo Association’s American Finals Rodeo. Held Friday, December 7, through Sunday, December 9, the event will be exciting for the whole family.
This year’s rodeo events will include barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, plus events on Saturday. Events will begin at 7:30 on both Friday and Saturday evenings and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Other American Cowboys Rodeo Association events, steer roping and breakaway roping, will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Top, local area money winners in this year’s standings are: Walt White, calf roping; Robert Martin, steer wrestling; Sallye Williams, barrel racing; Ryan Dirteater, bull riding; and Terry Crow, team roping. It is worthy to note that several of the top money winners just happen to be cowgirls. Each of these leading contenders will compete at the American Finals Rodeo to win top honors in their events.
A trade show will also take place at the Claremore Expo in conjunction with the rodeo. Approximately 25 vendors are expected, similar to last year’s event. Stop by from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, as well as from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Interested in being a vendor at the event? Call (918) 456-9814 for information on obtaining an economically-priced booth space for the weekend.
Paul Williams, vice president of ACRA, promises top-notch entertainment for the whole family at this year’s rodeo.
The annual kickoff and banquet will be held Thursday, December 5, at the Claremore Community Center, located at 2301 N. Sioux Ave. While the event is free of charge to attend, tickets may be purchased to enjoy dinner at the banquet. Tickets may be reserved at the ACRA office by calling (918) 456-9814. Tickets may be reserved through the use of credit cards, and they can be picked up at the door the evening of the banquet.
On Friday, December 7, a pep rally will be held at a Claremore elementary school. While the location has yet to be announced, it is guaranteed to get people of all ages pepped up for the weekend’s events. Rodeo competitors will be on hand to talk with kids and sign autographs.
Before Sunday’s concluding events will be Cowboy Church. Rob Pierce, past World Calf Roping champion, will officiate the 10:30 a.m. service. Competitors and the public are invited to attend.
Paul Williams, vice president of ACRA, is a past ACRA bull rider and bullfighter himself. He says that four highly-qualified, Oklahoma-based contractors will provide the stock for this year’s American Finals Rodeo. They include Barnes Rodeo Company, Hampton Rodeo Company, OMAK Rodeo Company, as well as Warren Rodeo Company. Monty Stueve of Perry, Oklahoma, will serve as this year’s event announcer. As a past Rodeo Announcer of the Year, Stueve will be on hand to advise and entertain onlookers and, most likely, poke a little fun.
“Cowboys for Kids is holding its annual toy drive,” Williams mentions. “We encourage spectators to bring an unwrapped toy to the American Finals Rodeo for donations to a local charitable organization.”
The ACRA is a family-oriented, working-class rodeo association. It aims to provide fun for all at its 2007 American Finals Rodeo. Everyone is guaranteed to be entertained at the event from grandma and grandpa down to toddlers. For more information about the event, contact the ACRA at (918) 456-9814 or visit www.acrarodeo.com.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.