Chisholm Trail Rodeo to benefit firefighters

By Austin Jackson | Published Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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Riding for a Cause

RIDING FOR A CAUSE – The Chisholm Trail Days Rodeo events begin 8 p.m Friday at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Proceeds are being donated to volunteer fire departments. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Zane Lasater has watched and rode in the Chisholm Trail Rodeo, a Decatur tradition that spans back more than 60 years, for most of his life.

He’s been running the show since 2013, and every year, he’s donated the proceeds to the Wise County Youth Fair and Rodeo, another area tradition for the cowboy and cowgirl town.

This year, Lasater is lending help to a different area staple that has been stretched thin this summer – volunteer fire departments.

After witnessing the record drought and myriad of fires that have ripped through Wise County, Lasater is donating all the proceeds to local volunteer fire departments.

“These guys have been busy and I’ve heard how short they are on funding and how they can’t afford equipment,” Lasater said. “I just want to help.”

On Friday and Saturday riders will saddle up at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Rodeo performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $8 for adults and kids 12-and-under are free. Firefighters and first responders will be admitted at no cost.

In his first year, Lasater said the Chisholm Trail Rodeo raised around $7,000. Recently, Lasater said attendance has been down, and he hasn’t been able to donate as much as he’d like.

“Chisholm Trail Rodeo used to be one of the biggest rodeos around, but people just aren’t coming out to the rodeo like they used to,” he said. “It’s a different time. They just care about football. We’re just gonna keep it going.”

This year, Lasater said Chisholm Trail will be a can’t-miss event, especially with football season not starting until Aug. 31.

There will be a mix of local riders and professional riders competing. Lasater said there’s a possibility some of the area’s big-name riders could even attend.

“Hopefully Trevor [Brazile] and a bunch of them will end up coming,” he said.

The Saturday parade will line up at 4:30 p.m. on the visitors side of Eagle Stadium, just off Business U.S. 81/287 and will run through the square at 5:30 p.m.

“Rodeo has always been a part of me,” he said. “I’m hoping this year will change and we’ll get a big turn out. I just want to keep it going.”

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