CLAREMORE, Okla. – Passion defines rodeo cowboys, and it has to.
One doesn’t ride nasty bucking horses or bulls without having a love for it. That passion leads the best in the game to reach out to others, offering their insights to the next generation of Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association stars.
That’s the primary focus of the PRCA Championship Rodeo Camps, where any young cowboy with the dream can learn from the men who make their livings in the sport. It’s why the volunteers who produce the annual Will Rogers Stampede are excited to be part of a free roughstock rodeo camp, set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Will Rogers Round Up Club Arena in Claremore.
“Everyone on our committee wants to continue to see interest in rodeo grow,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee. “We are involved in hosting several junior rodeos throughout the year, and this camp is an excellent way to get kids involved in rodeo. It’s also great having professional contestants teach the kids the proper way to rig and dismount roughstock animals.”
The camp also allows beginners lessons on safety, including chute procedures prior to the ride and what to do when the ride is complete. It takes place during a busy week of rodeo action with the Will Rogers Stampede, which will have three performances set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 24-Sunday, May 26.
“PRCA Championship Rodeo Camps are great for beginners and have proven to be very beneficial for advanced riders,” said Julie Jutten, who is with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s industry outreach department. “If you are new to the sport, the camp will get you off to the right start, which will help your long-term success in the sport.”
The camp is open to participants of any ability, but they must be at least 8 years old.
Students can register in all three roughstock events and may do so online at http://prorodeo.com/youthrodeo_form.aspx. Students also can register by calling Jutten at (719) 304-1471.
“The classroom will include sessions on preventing and managing injuries, which will prolong careers, and understanding the PRCA, which will ease an athlete’s transition into ProRodeo,” Jutten said. “The camps are free and a great chance to learn from the best of the PRCA.”
It’s just another big step for the Claremore committee, which has worked hard the last 11 months preparing for the weekend full of festivities and competition.
“We will be hosting a national Little Britches rodeo this fall, and it will be one of the first Little Britches rodeos in Oklahoma from the national association,” Petty said. “We all have a love for rodeo and for the Will Rogers Stampede. We hope that we will draw more cowboys and cowgirls to our sport, and that, in turn, will entice them to come back every year to be part of our rodeo.”