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Butterfield rodeo repeats as nation’s best

By David Talley | Published Saturday, October 1, 2016
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BIG SHOW – A cowgirl rides with an American flag to open a previous Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo. The venue picked up a number of top five national designations this year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For the second year in a row, Bridgeport’s Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo was named among the five best small rodeos in the country.

Rodeo Board Chairman David Turnbow said the 2016 venue built on last year’s renowned success. With the top award being given out later this year, Turnbow said he hopes the Butterfield event can take home its first overall win.

“There are 600 small rodeos out there,” he said. “Being in the top five out of 600 is pretty dang good, but now that we’ve had a taste of the top five we’d like to bring home the big award.”

Nominations are based on a series of ballots completed by those in the industry. Awards are given for almost every aspect of the rodeo, from planning to execution.

Turnbow said the rodeo also earned distinctions for its stock contractor, secretary and announcer, among others.

“That’s pretty good stuff right there for a small rodeo to have that caliber of people,” he said. “It’s about making sure we have the best of the best.”

Turnbow said the rodeo brings in between 400 and 500 contestants, and thanks to similar events held nearby, it picks up plenty of cowboys already in the area. Early scheduling decisions like these have made the rodeo a fixture on the calendar for many of the nation’s top professionals.

“We started meeting last month for the 2017 rodeo,” Turnbow said. “There’s just way more to it than turning the lights on and bucking some bulls out of the chutes.”

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