By Larry Stalcup, Contributing Editor
After corralling a highly successful 2020 event, the Will Rogers Range Riders Rodeo will hold its celebratory July 4th weekend combination open rodeo and ranch rodeo July 1-3 in Amarillo.
The rodeo is conducted by the nation’s oldest, continuously operating riding club. Formed in 1930, the Range Riders is more than just a roundup club. The group hosts numerous equine events along with its rodeo in both outdoor and indoor arenas. A new outdoor dance floor and stage was added last year. It brought in the best two-steppers from the Texas Panhandle and beyond.
Last year also saw the addition of a Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) ranch rodeo to its regular open rodeo. In addition, a Colt Starting Challenge drew much attention. Both events will be included in this year’s performances.
The Thursday, July 1, lineup starts at 10 a.m., with the first go-round of the colt challenge. A traditional grand entry and special salute to veterans and first responders will kick off the evening performance. Ranch bronc riding competition begins at 7:30 p.m. It will be followed by a first responders calf roping and other first-responder events. The night’s competition will be followed by the first of three rodeo dances.
For Friday, July 2, the second go of the colt challenge begins at 10 a.m. Also at 10 a.m., kids from the Big 5 4-H group will be showcasing their talents. The WRCA Branding and Team Penning first go is early afternoon, followed by the second night of the Ranch Rodeo at 4 p.m. The United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA) Rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by a dance at 10:30 p.m.
On Saturday, July 3, the Range Riders first WRCA Youth Ranch Rodeo will be at 10 a.m. It is a qualifier to the First Annual WRCA Youth World Championship Finals. The third colt challenge go is at 10 a.m. The colt finals and auction are set for 1 p.m.
The second go of WRCA branding follows that afternoon. The final rodeo performance is at 7:30 p.m., followed by a dance at 10:30 p.m.
Range Riders held a WRCA ranch rodeo qualifying in late April. Six teams qualified for the WRCA-sanctioned, July 2-3 event. They were Cameron Ranch/Christie Tipps Ranch, Slash W Cattle, Jolly Ranch/S&L Cattle, Myrick Land & Cattle, Alley Ranches and Detwiler/Road Runner Cattle Co. They join the top six teams from last year’s rodeo to comprise the 12 teams vying to compete at the WRCA Finals in Amarillo in November.
The 2020 Range Riders Rodeo was a success because of the dedication put forth by Range Riders members, numerous rodeo sponsors and help from others in the Amarillo-Panhandle region. Look for continued success in this year’s event.
For more on tickets and performances, visit https://www.rodeoticket.com/will-rogers-range-riders-rodeo/rodeo-information.