BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Fans deserve the best, and the volunteers that produce the annual Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo know that well.
“We’ve got great rodeo fans in this area, and we want them to keep coming back to our rodeo every year,” said Loydd Williams, chairman of the festival’s rodeo committee. “We also want them to tell their friends about the rodeo we have. I think everyone has been pleased with what they see.”
The rodeo is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at Bridgeport Riding Club Arena and will feature the top contestants in the game. It also will host some of the greatest animal athletes seen in ProRodeo, from great timed-event horses to tremendous bucking beasts.
“Probably our biggest change is that our stock contractor has expanded quite a bit,” Williams said of Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo. Its owner, Pete Carr, just completed purchase of Classic Pro Rodeo, a Waskom, Texas-based livestock firm that has been part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for about 20 years. “Pete was already one of the best contractors in rodeo. Now he’s bigger and better than he was a year ago.”
That should be a boon for rodeo fans in Wise County and north Texas, but there’s much more to the entire entertainment package.
“We’re bringing in Real Screen Video to provide the scoreboard and the replays for our rodeo,” Williams said. “Rick Sallee and his people do some of the biggest rodeos in the country, like Fort Worth and the NFR. With them handling the replays and commercials for our sponsors, we’ll be able to really showcase our rodeo to the fans.”
That’s important. Like any sporting event, a video board comes in quite handy with showing replays of the action, but it also serves as a tremendous marketing tool for potential sponsors. It also can be a place to showcase a community celebration like Butterfield Stage Days.
Of course, it’s just another aspect of providing top-level entertainment for fans that come to enjoy the world-class athletes that make the sport. Also in the mix will be entertainer John Harrison, who will provide comic relief throughout the two performances of the rodeo while also showcasing his award-winning talents.
“We, as a committee, are looking forward to working with John this year,” Williams said. “As someone who has been around rodeo for so many years and knowing the history of the game, it’s good to know John is carrying on a family tradition. His grandfather was Freckles Brown, who won the bull riding world title and is still a legend in rodeo.”
While the competition will be the featured part of the performances, the flavor will be enhanced by announcer Charlie Throckmorton, who has been one of the best in the business for a number of, and Benje Bendele, the premier sound technician in rodeo. Throckmorton has worked as arena announcer at the National Finals Steer Roping many years, and Bendele produces the music and sound at the largest events in the sport, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“I think we’ve got the best crew in the sport, and I think the fans will see a difference in our rodeo from any other they’re going to go to this year,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a very good rodeo.”