The chutes will open at the Mohave County Fairgrounds in Kingman for the 33rd Annual Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo on September 23 and 24, 2017 with cowboys competing in Saddleback and Bareback Bronc Riding, Calf Wrestling, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding and Team Roping - all PRCA sanctioned events.
The schedule also includes Women’s Barrel Racing and Junior Barrel Racing, which are WPRA sanctioned, and classic rodeo entertainment such as professional rodeo clowns and a calf dressing competition.
Even though the Andy Devine Days Rodeo is a smaller rodeo, it pulls in many talented bronc and bull riding cowboys. It's held the last weekend for rodeo contestants to qualify for NFR (Nation Finals Rodeo) held in Las Vages. And with the arena placed right up at the grandstands for the second year, it offers spectators a fantastic view of the action!
The Saturday evening performance last year was a sell-out event! So organizers are sticking to a Saturday evening rodeo again in 2016, kicking off at 6pm and continuing until around 9 in the evening. Immediately following is an old fashioned barn dance in the main building behind the grand stands, with live music, food and a bar.
Tickets will be available at the Kingman Visitor Center, located in Kingman's Historic Powerhouse at 120 W. Andy Devine Ave. Check back for 2017 Rodeo ticket pricing. For more information, visit the Kingsmen online. Tickets will also be available at Boot Barn, both Kingman Mohave State Banks locations, Stockton Hill Feed, Martin Swanty Dodge, Wells Fargo Bank Downtown branch and at all of the Western Week evens events leading up to the Rodeo.
For more information, call Ray Cullison (928.279.7250), Tim Woods (928.303.9017), Chris Hammond (928.897.4527), or visit www.kingmanrodeo.org.
The Rodeo continues to coincide with the Best of the West on Route 66 Festival, hosting car shows and entertainment in Historic Downtown Kingman. Come out and celebrate a long-running Kingman tradition of cowboys and classic cars!
Some History: Articles of rodeos around Kingman go back as early as the 1880’s, especially taking place at surrounding ranches during round-ups. But Kingman hosted its first organized Labor Day rodeo in 1919. The second annual rodeo in 1920 had purses totaling nearly $4,000 (nearly $50,000 in 2015 dollars). In the 1930’s to early 1950’s it was “Dig-‘n-Dogie Days Rodeo, a celebration of ranching and mining skills, as was famously described in “A Guide Book to Highway 66”. That festival eventually phased out as more area mines closed.
When rodeos became big entertainment across the nation in the 1960's and 70's, the Jaycees brought rodeoing back to Kingman with “Los Comaneros Rodeo”, Kingman’s first PRA (then PRCA) sanctioned rodeo. In 1985, the Rodeo was incorporated into the “Andy Devine Days” celebration, to bring back a flavor of Dig-N-Dogie days and western, cowboy, small town heritage.
Above: scene from Kingman's first organized rodeo held on Front Street (Route 66) in 1919. Image courtesy of the Mohave Museum of History & Arts.
Here's a sample from a past Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo. As can be seen here, you never know what's gonna happen at the Rodeo. But, you know the baddest bulls, broncs and cowboys are sure to be there!
Saturday, September 16 – 8:00 am
Queen and Teen Queen Riding & Horsemanship at the Mohave County Fairgrounds
Monday, September 18 – Friday September 22
Western Week: Put on your boots and jeans and support the many businesses will be showing their community spirit by decorating and dressing the part for the Andy Devine Days!
Monday, September 18*
Andy Awards: Kingman Chamber of Commerce presents the Andy Awards at Beale Celebrations at 6:00 pm
Tuesday, September 19 – starting at 5:00 pm*
Western Week Kick-off Party Taco Tuesday at the Tack Shed Saloon & Eatery.
Wednesday, September 20 – 6:00 to 9:00 pm*
Andy Devine Days Fanfest & Chili Cookoff - location TBA
Thursday, September 21 – starts at 6:00 pm
Andy Devine Days Tough Enough to Wear Pink Cow Plop in the Boot Barn Parking Lot: Food & Fun! Buy your squares for $20. Proceeds go to Tough Enough to Wear Pink.
Friday, September 22 – 6:00 to 11:30 pm
Kingsmen 100 Club VIP Party at the historic Elk's Lodge in downtown Kignman.
Saturday, September 23 – 10:00 am
Andy Devine Days Parade on Beale Street between 1st Street and 6th Street. (Best ot the West on 66 Fest follows)
Saturday, September 23 – 6:00 pm (gates open 3:00 pm)
Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.
Saturday, September 23 – 9:00 pm (after rodeo performance)*
Rodeo Dance at the Mohave County Fairgrounds
Sunday, September 24 – 7:30 to 8:30 am
Cowboy Church at the Mohave County Fairgrounds
Sunday, September 24 – 1:00 pm (gates open 11:30 am)
Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.
* Calendar schedule and some event locations may change, please check back closer to the event dates.
Bull Riding, certainly one of the favorite spectator events in all of rodeo, is at the same time the most dangerous and the most entered event in the sport. Bulls are considered harder to ride than bucking horses, in light of the violence and unpredictability of their leaps as well as the tendency to abruptly spin. Many bulls come looking for the cowboy after the ride, intent on inflicting a devastating hooking or trampling.
As in other rodeo "rough stock" events, bull riders are only permitted to hold on with one hand and can be disqualified for touching themselves or the bull with their free hand. A flat plaited bull rope and riding glove are used in the cowboy's efforts to secure himself to the back of the bull.
If a bull rider manages to stay aboard for eight seconds, two rodeo judges combine scores to award up to fifty points for how well the bull bucked, and another fifty points for how the cowboy maintained control during the ride.
PRCA bull riding matches incredibly powerful bulls with determined riders who often mentally pump themselves full of enough "try" to record spectacular riding feats in the rodeo arena.
Steer Wrestling, or Bulldogging as it is often called, is another rodeo event which developed purely in the competitive arena environment. No cowboy would ever dive off his horse onto a five to six-hundred-pound steer at 35 miles an hour out on the open range.
The key to successful steer wrestling lies in coordination between two cowboys and their horses: steer wrestling is the only rodeo event in which a contestant is permitted to use a helper.
Once known as the "big man's" event, due to the brute strength required, recent emphasis on quickness and technique have produced phenomenal times by large and average sized cowboys alike.
Team Roping is the only event in rodeo in which two contestants work together for a single time and shared prize money. This event evolved from the open range, where it took two men to rope and hold a large steer for doctoring.
In modern, competitive team roping, one partner (the "header") attempts to throw the first rope and catch the steer's head or horns. The header dallies his rope around the saddlehorn and, as the rope becomes taut, turns the steer away. The second partner (the "heeler") in one of the most difficult maneuvers in rodeo, throws the second loop and catches the steer around its hind legs, then dallies the rope around his saddlehorn.
Timing and teamwork between horses and riders are essential. When both ropers' horses are facing the steer and ropes are taut time is complete. A time of ten seconds or less will often be required to post a winning score among expert team ropers. PRCA team roping is an event requiring expert riders, highly trained horses, an uncommon roping touch and endless hours of practice to perfect the skills.
Bareback Bronc Riding means just that: a wild, eight-second ride on a powerful bucking horse without benefit of a saddle, reins or stirrups. Bare back riding is one of the "rodeo bred" events, as no self-respecting cowboy would ever attempt to break horses on the range with only a "suitcase handle" for a handhold.
The riding handle is the top part of a leather "rigging" which is placed around the 1200-pound bucking horse's middle just behind his shoulders. Bare back bronc riders hold onto this handle with a single hand encased in a specially designed, rosined leather glove.
As in saddle bronc riding, bareback riders must stay aboard for eight seconds to make a qualified ride. Touching himself, the equipment or the horse with his free hand will disqualify a bareback rider and send him down the road with no score for his efforts.
The arm takes a terrific beating as the cowboy leans back, trying to maintain a good knee jerking, spurring rhythm along the horse's neck and shoulders. Most of the bare back riders today wrap their riding arm with padding and plenty of adhesive tape - anything to help support the limb and protect it.
Two judges award up to fifty points to the horse and fifty points to the bareback rider. Points are awarded for the bucking pattern and power of the horse as well as the rider's strength, control and spurring action.
Saddle Bronc Riding, rodeo's "classic event," has roots that run deep in the history of the Old West. For amusement and to relieve the monotony of ranch work, hands would often gather and compete among themselves to see who could ride wild horses with the most style. From this early competition today's rodeo event was born. Each rider must begin his ride with his feet over the bronc's shoulders and is judged on how hard the horse bucks and how well the cowboy rides. A good ride is notable for smooth spur strokes extending from the horse's neck back to the cantile of the saddle.
Saddle bronc riding matches a specially bred bucking horse with a delicately balanced Pro Rodeo cowboy who must stay aboard for eight seconds to make a qualified ride. The cowboy uses a PRCA-approved saddle with stirrups and a six-foot braided rein which he holds with one hand only. Saddle bronc riders are disqualified if they touch themselves, the horse, or their equipment with their free hand.
It is important for the cowboy to synchronize his spurring motion with the rhythm of the horse's jumps. The cowboy's feet should be straight out in front when the bronc's front feet hit the ground; they should strike the back of the saddle, knees bent, when the horse next lunges into the air.
Two riding judges combine scores to mark each horse up to fifty points for their bucking ability and each cowboy up to fifty points for their riding skill and style.
Tie Down Roping, like bronc riding, is an event born on ranches of the Old West. During the annual spring roundup, calves were roped by a single cowboy and tied down for branding (a must on the open range) and medical treatment.
Today, a cowboy's success in calf roping depends largely on the teamwork between himself and his horse in a contest of split-second timing. One misstep by either man or horse can cost the fraction of a second which separates winners from losers in this timed event. The luck of the draw is also a factor. A fiesty calf that runs fast or kicks hard can foil a roper's finest effort.
The rider chases his bovine challenger on horseback and catches it with his rope. As the horse stops, the roper dismounts, runs down the rope and flanks the calf to the ground. He then ties any three legs of the calf with a short rope, called a pigging string, which he has carried in his teeth.
The clock is stopped when the roper throws his hands in the air. The calf must remain tied for six seconds after the cowboy remounts his horse. If an observing judge has not noted any rule infractions, the calf roper's time becomes official. It often takes a time of ten seconds or less to win a hotly contested calf roping event. PRCA cowboy calf roping features some of the most highly conditioned two and four-legged athletes in professional rodeo.
Barrel Racing is the women's event; it's always a favorite of spectators, combining the elements of a race, outstanding horsemanship, and an opportunity to see some of the best Quarter Horses in the country.
The competition is as keen as in any other rodeo event. Naturally the women depend on their own horses because the best barrel racer in the world can't win on a slow mount.
The prize money goes to the rider whose horse can run the fastest and negotiate the sharpest turns without hitting the barrels. With well-trained, strong-willed horses and fiercely competitive riders, one or two hundredths of a second are often all that separates the final standings in this rodeo event.
This is a timed event, beginning as soon as the horse's nose reaches the starting line, and stopping when the horse's nose reaches over the finish line. Start and finish line are one and the same—the contestant will run in cloverleaf pattern, starting either to left or right. A five-second penalty will be added to time for each barrel knocked over.
The Rodeo’s namesake—Andy Devine—was a popular film actor whose career in silent pictures began in the 1920s. Andy grew up in Kingman before making it to Hollywood and is best known for his roles in western movies and television shows. He appeared in movies with the likes of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Guy Madison and his most memorable work was the role of Jingles in the 1950s television program “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok.”