Marble Falls Rodeo Action Returns This Weekend
MARBLE FALLS — One of the highest compliments any fan can give to an athlete is to tell them they’re the definition of tough: physically, mentally, and in spirit.
No sport challenges the toughness of an athlete quite like the rodeo.
After all, bulls and broncs are doing everything they can to buck riders off their backs. Steer wrestlers literally grab the (used-to-be) bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. Barrel racers deftly lead 2,000-pound animals in a race against the clock. And ropers lasso calves while on horseback before jumping off to tie up the wriggling creature as quickly as possible.
That toughness will be on full display at the Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo on Friday-Saturday, July 20-21, at Charley Taylor Rodeo Arena, located one mile south of Lake Marble Falls on U.S. 281.
Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the rodeo starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults on Friday and $15 on Saturday; $5 for ages 7-12 on both nights; and free for ages 6 and younger. The Saturday admission includes entry to a concert and dance featuring country artist Adam Fears.
The legendary Leon Coffey returns as barrel man, and Cadillac Rodeo is the stock provider.
Slack, which features non-rough stock contestants who didn’t make the Friday or Saturday performances, is 7 p.m. the Thursday before, also at the arena. Admission is free.
While rodeo publicity director Mike Dyer couldn’t confirm an order of events, he did say two of those events will wrap up each night's schedule: barrel racing and bull riding.
“They’re always the second to last and last events of the rodeo,” he said. “The reason (bull riding is last) is they can get everything set up. They do all that while the girls are running barrels.”
In the middle of the rodeo both nights are mutton bustin’ for the kids and gentlemen’s steer saddling. In steer saddling, a group of three try to catch a steer, put a saddle on it, get a team member in the saddle, then get steer and rider across the finish line first. Gentlemen’s steer saddling is open to anyone who wants to enter, including women.
Dyer said the most important component to steer saddling is the size of each contestant. Typically, the bigger and stronger ones fare the best, he added, noting the event has drawn a few all-female teams, too.
“The fans love it,” Dyer said. “They get a kick out of it because it’s local people doing it. It’s basically luck.”
Parents can sign up their little ones for mutton bustin’ from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hill Country Pediatric Dentistry, 608 Gateway Central, Suite 201, in the weekdays leading up to the rodeo.
A calf scramble is Saturday night only, also at the midpoint of the rodeo.
Those wanting a taste of bull riding but no broken bones are in luck. Paying customers can hop on a mechanical bull to experience the relatively safer thrill of the ride.
If you can’t wait for Friday or want to see tomorrow’s rodeo stars, the Youth Rodeo, which is an open event for young cowboys and cowgirls in Burnet County and the surrounding area, starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, also at the arena.
Children as young as 5 and as old as 18 will be competing in pole bending, a goat ribbon run, a flag race, straightaway barrels, and cloverleaf barrels. The cost to compete is $10 per event.
Champion buckles and trophy halters go to division winners, and organizers added another $200 to the boys and girls divisions in ages 14-18. Email Kelly Haydon firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Visit marblefallsrodeo.org for more on the open and pro rodeo.
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