Bridger Valley Pioneer Days Ranch Rodeo back in the saddle

Let’er Buck! This picture was taken at one of the early rodeos in Bridger Valley, probably around the 1920s or before. The saddle and gear help tell the date. COURTESY PHOTO/Joe Hickey

BRIDGER VALLEY — The Bridger Valley Pioneer Rodeos are back on tap for this year after being cancelled last year due to the coronavirus.

Plans are to make these rodeos even better due to last year’s cancellation. Valley residents and visiting cowboys and their families will again be able to strap on their chaps, don their western hats and boots and bring the ‘Wild West’ to life at the Bridger Valley Pioneer Ranch Rodeos with the Junior Rodeo slated for July 21 and the qualifying Ranch Rodeo on Friday July 23 and the finals on Saturday, July 24.

This year, according to Rodeo Committee chair Joe Hickey, there will be a special event as modern day cowboy singer Brenn Hill performs in concert on Tuesday, July 20, at the Lyman rodeo grounds. Singer-songwriter Hill mainly sings his own songs, which relate to the cowboys and their lives today. Hill has earned his spurs as a singer over two decades of writing and performing. The performance, which is free, is being presented by Union Wireless.

The junior rodeo will include four divisions for youngsters – children, 7 and under; youth, 8-10 years; juniors, 11-14; and seniors 15-18. Events include things like poles (riding stick horses), dummy roping barrels, goat tying, ribbon roping, steer riding and more.

As for the Ranch Rodeos, they are based on ranch activities, which carry on even today in running a ranch such as team doctoring, team sorting, branding. The rodeos also include a hide race based on an Indian race where a rider pulled a rider on a buffalo hide.

Another new event this year will be a dance with live music by local musicians following the Saturday night rodeo.

Registration for rodeo entries opened July 5 and run through 9 p.m. tonight by calling or texting Staci Powell at 307-780-7812 or Emilene France at 307-679-9995.

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