Fairgrounds Recovering After Record Crowds for EYO
The Stephens County Commissioners on Monday heard from board chair Russell Morgan about the frenzy of work at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in preparation for this weekend’s events, given the large number of participants at last weekend’s Expo for the Youth of Oklahoma, which brought thousands into Duncan for the livestock show hosted by Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE).
“We had a very successful weekend,” Morgan said. “More people than I’ve ever seen at that place.”
Morgan said that the facility is hosting two rodeo events this weekend: the Heart of Oklahoma Youth Rodeo and the 20th annual Ranch Rodeo.
The Heart of Oklahoma youth rodeo is open to young people 18 years and under, and offers barrels, poles, goat tying, breakaway roping, ribbon roping, tie-down calf roping, steer stopping, steer breakaway, and team roping, as well as open events for parents and other adults. Events are scheduled beginning at 9am on Saturday and Sunday.
“Each year our goal is to provide each qualified member with a jacket, first time member trophy buckle and a prize for each event in which they qualify,” according to the event information. “Since the organization began, HOYRA has given away a minimum of 31 saddles each year in various youth events and has paid out well over a million dollars in cash and prizes to contestants.”
Morgan said that all roping events for the youth rodeo will be outside at the covered arena, and other events will be inside.
Winners Circle Booster Club is holding the 20th Annual Ranch Rodeo at Claude Gill Arena at the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.
“These events are based on the daily way of the Ranch Hand Life,” the event details state. “The Ranch Roundup started in our area because we are sitting on one of the most Historic Cattle Drive Trails. This Rodeo will pay tribute to the Cowboy Way.”
Proceeds from the Ranch Roundup are used by the Winners Circle Booster Club to fund activities for FFA and 4-H organizations in Duncan; the majority of the funds raised will be used for prize money for the stock show in the spring, which supports the youth animal projects and college scholarships.
Ranch Roundup events include cow milking, cattle penning, steer doctoring, calf branding, a ranch horse race, cowhide relay, chuck wagon cooking, and a campsite appearance competition.
“I figure it’ll be a little larger than normal,” Morgan said. “Last week I was told the youth rodeo had over a thousand entries.”
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