The 54th annual Fredericktown Lion’s Club Rodeo returned to town June 22 and 23 for two evenings of cowboy competition.
The event was presented by Fredericktown Lion’s Club and Auto Plaza Ford and was put on by the Chalk Bluff Rodeo Co. at the Lion’s Club Rodeo Grounds located on Hwy OO.
Event Coordinator Don Krieger said this year’s event had a great turnout with many opportunities for the community to be involved.
“That is what made this rodeo a success, the locals,” Krieger said. “It’s just been a lot of fun to be able to have an open rodeo so the little kids can enter and have an option to join in.”
Krieger said he was proud to see the turnout for the two nights and credits it to involving the youth and giving members of the community someone to cheer for.
“I really think the families coming out to cheer on their nephews, kids, grandkids or someone they know is what has put the crowds back in the stands,” Krieger said. “We had a lull for a few years but it’s really coming back now and we have already found sponsors for next year’s event.”
Both nights began with a tribute to the country and the playing of the national anthem while the American Flag was ridden around the arena on horse back.
Krieger said another major part of the rodeo this year was a tribute to Donnie Cureton.
“Donnie passed away this year and he has always been a major part of the rodeo every year,” Krieger said. “He was always there for us if we ever needed anything so we found his old horse that he had sold years ago and saddled him up and had his grandson, Cash, pony him around the arena.”
Krieger said by placing Cureton’s boots and stirrups backwards on the saddle it signified a cowboy’s last ride. Cureton’s daughters Elizabeth, Sara, Jennifer and Lorna attended to the event to honor their father.
Categories included calf riding, steer riding, open chute dog, calf roping, junior barrels, open barrels, junior breakaway, open breakaway, team roping, junior bulls, open bulls and bounty bull.
Rodeo MC Keven Murray was a fan favorite without a dull moment either night. He has already been signed on for next year’s event.
When an unexpected dog ran in to the arena Murray was quick on the draw by saying, “Have you heard the expression bit off more than you can chew, because I believe that dog is feeling that right about now.”
The dog safely made it out of the arena as a bucking horse was right on its tail.
Thirteen buckles were given out at the end of the night Saturday with local Riley Mills winning the calf roping division and local Kolby Krieger winning in breakaway roping.
“Pulling off these events are a lot of work and I would like to thank my lovely wife Kelly (Krieger) and Ashley and Brooke Kemp for all of their help with the concession stand,” Krieger said. “I would also like to thank the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County EMS for having a presence both nights and making sure all who came out and who were riding were kept safe.”
Krieger said he would like to thank all of the sponsors who helped make the event possible including Auto Plaza Ford, Kemp’s Auto Body, Cureton Livestock Market, Country Mart, Skaggs Farm, Ward’s Farm Center, Spain Trucking, Vance Vineyard, Mouser Steel, Dement Horse Shoeing, M&T Drilling, Cherokee Pass Mobil, Dennis Bess Insurance, Madison Inn Lodge, Torrez Sanitation, BREC, Chalk Bluff Rodeo Co., Beaver Valley Golf Course, Branson Tractors, Bonne Terre Family Fun Center, All Star Trucking, Ozarks Federal Savings and Loan, City Glass, Classic Equine and New Era Bank.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com