GERRY – Names familiar to fans of the Gerry Rodeo made headlines at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s national finals last month in Las Vegas.
The Gerry Volunteer Fire Department will hold its 70th annual rodeo this summer. Competitors from the last event were ranked among the top 15 in their class, according to Paul Cooley, publicity manager for the Gerry Rodeo.
Jacobs Crawley, from Stephenville, Texas, who won the saddle bronc event in Gerry the past two summers, won a world title and a payoff of $35,000. Crawley came to Las Vegas ranked fifth in the world with earnings of nearly $180,000. In addition, his brother, Sterling Crawley, who also has competed in Gerry, was among the top 15 who qualified for this worldwide competition.
Last year’s winner of the bareback competition in Gerry, Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, was named as the association’ World Rookie of the Year in his event as he outdistanced all other bronc riders, winning nearly $50,000 in his first year on the professional rodeo circuit.
In addition, one of the horses in Gerry won top honors. Painted Pony Pro Rodeo, the Gerry rodeo’s stock contractor, had one of its outstanding bucking horses, Shana’s Delight, chosen as one of the top horses in the nation. This 10-year-old buckskin gelding made the 2,700-mile trip from New York State to Las Vegas worthwhile as he made two outstanding appearances, with his riders winning more than $25,000 dollars on his back. This honor follows his being named “Bareback Horse of the Year” in the Professional Rough Stock Series of rodeos. He bucked in Gerry last summer and contractor Shawn Graham says he will be back again this year, Cooley said.
Planning is already under way for the 2014 edition of the rodeo, which is the longest running rodeo east of the Mississippi. There will be five performances from July 30 through Aug. 2, with more than 125 cowboys and cowgirls competing for $45,000 in prize money.
All proceeds benefit the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department.