By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: December 2006
Clayton Zibell competing in Saddle Bronc Riding. Clayton won all three rounds and the average at the 2005 American Finals Rodeo and will be returning to the 2006 Finals. Photo provided by Nate Bailey Photography
If you love a good rodeo and you can not get enough of riding, roping and racing then you are in for a treat. The American Cowboys Rodeo Association is pleased to present the 2006 American Finals Rodeo on December 8-10 at the Claremore Expo Center. Performances on the 8th and 9th begin at 7:30 p.m. and the event will culminate with a final performance beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday the 10th.
The finals weekend will be packed with plenty to do and see for the whole family. Attendees will get to watch 120 of the best cowboys in the region compete in seven major events: bareback riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, cowgirls barrel racing, team roping and bull riding. Steer Roping finals will be held on Saturday afternoon and will include an exciting match roping.
Year End Awards will be given out after the final performance on Sunday. Each event’s year-end champion will be awarded Twister Saddles and Frontier Buckles. In addition, M&M Campers of Broken Arrow will award a custom camper to the high money winning cowboy and a custom sleeper to the high money winning cowgirl.
If you have not finished your Christmas shopping, you will want to attend the trade show held in conjunction with the rodeo. Vendors from the surrounding area will display an array of items, from jewelry for mom to leather goods for dad and a little bit of everything in between. Most spots are filled, but any interested vendors may contact Wayne Clay at 918-237-1690 or Nettie Detherage at 918-676-3052 for more information.
Sarah Ellingson winning the Barrel Racing 2nd go around at the 2005 American Finals rodeo, she will be returning to the 2006 Finals. Photo provided by Nate Bailey Photography
Paul Williams has been involved with the rodeo all of his life and describes the ACRA as “one of the fastest growing family-oriented organizations of its kind.” Founded in 1976, the ACRA provides a rodeo competition outlet for rodeo lovers from all walks of life, everyone from ministers and farmers to school teachers and professional business people. “My dad introduced me to rodeo at a very early age. I held a full time job after high school, so it was hard to travel up and down the road full time,” recounts Paul. “I was more of a weekend cowboy so I could be back on the job come Monday.” Since the ACRA holds most of its events in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma, Paul was able to maintain involvement over the years, first as a bullfighter, then as the Contract Acts Director and ultimately rising to his current position as Vice President.
There are many ways to become involved with the ACRA rodeo. The season runs from the weekend following Labor Day through the next Labor Day weekend. Membership applications are available on the ACRA website and an individual may become involved in many capacities: contestant, judge, secretary, timer, announcer, rodeo clown or (Paul’s favorite) rodeo bullfighter.
“The American Finals Rodeo will be a great addition to the activities in the Claremore community,” says Paul. “The people attending the event will be treated to some of the best cowboy and cowgirl talent in the country.”
or visit the ACRA at www.acrarodeo.com
Walt White winning the Calf Roping 3rd round at the 2005 American Finals Rodeo, he will be returning to the 2006 Finals. Photo provided by Nate Bailey Photography