A total of 14,584 dollars was paid out to winners from a pool of 109 contestants that came out for a 2019 PRCA sanctioned two day event which ended in an August 31 evening culmination of the Socorro County Fair.
The stands were packed to watch cowboys and cowgirls hit the arena floor in seven different categories; Bareback, Steer Wrestling, Team roping, Saddle Bronc, Tie-down, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding. Shank Edwards and Seth Hall went away with the All-Around Cowboy award.
“We’ve got mostly Turquoise Circuit riders here,” Tourism Director Jim Dewey Brown said. “But there are some from further away. A rider from Hawaii came to participate. Anybody that wants to compete here in Socorro is certainly welcome. This is great for the community to bring people in.”
Reining Socorro County Rodeo Queen Maggie Rich and Princess Angel Trujillo rode out to present both the American and New Mexico colors during an opening prayer and playing of the national anthem.
“Being here to represent Socorro is a lot of fun,” Trujillo said. “Last year it was nerve racking because I was so young.I still am, but I’ve learned a lot. Traveling around and helping to promote Socorro was stressful at times, but it helped to improve my public speaking skills. I would tell anyone else going into a position like this to always smile and treat the home that you love with respect.”
Followed by the traditional ceremony, announcer James Horcasitas introduced a friendly sheep riding event for younger children that featured several fun moments with kids still in the process of learning how to ride. Horcasitas had the crowd falling out of their seats when he made the joke “This is the only form of child abuse still legal folks”.
Head Rodeo Clown Johnny Dudley got the crowd going with a brief show before Steer Wrestling got pro competition underway.
Along with the standard Fat Man & Little Boy stand several other vendors made the trip to the arena, selling varied products from clothing, jewelry, photography, metal art and even bull riding themed car air fresheners.
Western Photographer and a native of Lamy, New Mexico, Wendy Finley traveled down to promote her landscape style photography, handmade metal art, and an assortment of American jewelry products.
“I found out about this through a friend,” she said. “Fortunately I was able to contact the people here and get a stand. Sales have not been great to be honest, but it is a smaller event than others I’ve done. But I have to say this arena is gorgeous. If the sales add up after the weekend I hope to come back every year because the people of Socorro are so kind.”
Caleb Kerr, a resident of Magdalena, is a long standing member of the PRCA and was integral in lobbying to have an event in Socorro during its summer season, which celebrated its third year of local competition. An additional 1,000 dollars was put up to further draw PRCA riders.
“This is a great event for our communities,” he said. “We’ve got a world class arena here. Speaking just for Magdalena, you have to drive a long way to rodeo in a place like this. It’s awesome to be out here as a fan. I’m two years away from my gold card with PRCA, which basically means old guy card. So it’s a blast to see these younger professionals out there competing.”
To close out the PRCA event retired rodeo rider Tony Buckman put on a performance on the Southside of the arena. Buckman previously competed underneath Jim Brown while riding at New Mexico State and also had a crew of documentarians on site filming the action. His two main competition events were bareback and bull riding in which he qualified for the National College Rodeo Finals three out of four years.
“Jim was awesome when I rode for him,” he said. “When I got the scholarship originally I had broken my back so I couldn’t ride for the first year of school. During our performance tonight we’re going to play some classics everybody knows but try to mix it up. Mainly country, the type of stuff you’d expect at something like this. I’m just happy to have the chance to preform in front of so many people in the rodeo community.”
The Turquoise Circuit, comprised primarily of New Mexico and Arizona riders, will have its 2019 final on September 4 in Prescott, Arizona. Socorro will host its next PRCA event sponsored by the JK Rodeo Company on September 12.
Bareback Riding - Brazos Winters, 69 points, 609 dollars.
Steer Wrestling - Jake Trujillo, 4.9 seconds, 733 dollars.
Team Roping - Chase Massengill/Kory Bramwell, 5.0 seconds, 1,034 dollars.
Saddle Bronc Riding - Jake Salcito, 57 points, 436 dollars.
Tie-down Roping - Shank Edwards/Seth Hall, 9.0 seconds, 674 dollars each.
Barrel Racing - Tarryn Lee, 17.01 seconds, 513 dollars.
Bull Riding - no qualifiers.