The 76th Crooked River Round-Up kicked off Thursday night in the cowboy capital of Oregon: Prineville.
“If you don’t know what’s happening at the Crooked River Round-up then you need to get more in touch with Prineville. It is rodeo time here,” said JJ Harrison, the rodeo clown.
Rodeo time indeed, as you can see by the heaps of people that turned out Thursday night.
“Lots of excitement at the rodeo and you’re always going to have fun,” said Mitch Coleman.
Mitch Coleman is a direct part of that fun, working as a pick-up man during events.
“The pick-up man is the guy on horseback out during the rust stock events and my job is to go in there and get the guy off safely and get the flank strap off,” Coleman said.
It’s a thankless job but for Coleman but doing what he loves at his favorite rodeo makes it all worth it.
“To do this job you kind of have to be a cowboy to do this job,” Coleman said “It kind of goes with the cowboy lifestyle I guess.”
The cowboy lifestyle I tried out myself, riding a beautiful horse named Chrome.
But for how hard it is to ride a horse, it’s even harder for Coleman and the cow-folk inside the arena, competing for the NFR playoff series and Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association, with more than $100,000 in purses up for grabs.
“Basically, you’re going to have all of the rodeo events,” Harrison said “You’re going to have bull-riding, which is the frosting on our cupcake, bear back riding, bronc riding, but you’re also got all of the true cowboy events that work on ranches even today in the Prineville area.”
There’s also vendors, food, and some great times with great people.
“I go to 10-12 rodeos a year throughout the northwest and this is by far one of my favorites to go to,” Coleman said.
“This is the cowboy capital of Oregon so if you are a cowboy in the country, this is the place you want to be,” Harrison said.
The rodeo lasts till Saturday, the 25th.