By Frank J. Buchman
“It’s celebration time at the rodeo.”
“This is the 10th annual 94.5 Country Topeka Rodeo, so we intend to make it the best ever,” declared Kim Vann, committeeman.
Hosted by the North Topeka Saddle Club, the rodeo is again sponsored by The BIG 94.5 Country Radio.
Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings, August 20th-21st, at 8 o’clock in the club arena, 74th and North Topeka Boulevard.
In a return engagement, livestock is to be provided by Silver Creek Rodeo Company, Stephenville, Texas. Randy Schmutz bought the livestock three years ago from Dave Kielhorn and Matt Williams of Arkansas City.
“We have more than 100 head of bucking horses, 40 bucking bulls and 150 head of calves and steers. The Topeka rodeo will have some of the best livestock in the industry,” Schmutz assured.
Outstanding record of the Silver Creek bucking livestock is recorded on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) website. “While, the Topeka rodeo is not PRCA sanctioned it will attract the best cowboys from throughout the Midwest,” Schmutz said.
Contestants in Topeka are qualifying for points in three associations, the contractor said. They include the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association (MRCA), the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA), and Silver Creek’s own Rodeo Super Series.
“We contract 20 events with more than 40 rodeo performances annually,” Schmutz said. “The Rodeo Super Series is an exciting new format sanctioning eight rodeos produced by Silver Creek in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. The finale is set for Missouri during September.”
Calling the Western action for the Topeka rodeo will be Brandon McLagan from Missouri. “Brandon is very talented and announces a number of rodeos for us each year,” Schmutz said. “He keeps the audience well informed and works quite well with the entertainers.”
Hollywood Harris, veteran barrel man, clown and funnyman from Florida, will be a Topeka rodeo feature. “Hollywood has been in the business four decades entertaining rodeo crowds throughout the country and also in Canada,” Schmutz said.
Rodeo events include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping, over 40 tie down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
“Trophy buckles will be awarded to each event winner as an added incentive to attract the best contestants,” Vann said. “Tickets are available for the public to win a 10th annual Topeka Rodeo belt buckle. It is being custom made by Molly’s Silver, Riverside, California, so there will only be one like it.”
Friday, August 20th, has been designated as Military Night at the rodeo honoring veterans and first responders, Vann pointed out.
There will also be a Pony Hop Battle of the Badges Friday evening. Participants are to include the Topeka Police Department, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department, American Medical Response, and Topeka Firefighters.
Saturday, August 21st, is Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night at the rodeo. “It is to increase awareness and benefit the fight again breast cancer. Contestants and spectators attending the rodeo are encouraged to wear pink,” Vann said.
“Paint The Pony” is an additional attraction for Saturday’s performance. “Proceeds are to be donated in the Topeka area to those needing assistance in paying medical expenses of mammograms,” Vann said.
An anticipated annual attraction for the Topeka rodeo is The BIG 94.5 Country Golden Horseshoe Toss. “This unique horseshoe throwing competition will highlight Saturday’s rodeo,” said Shayla Rilinger, promotions coordinator for 94.5 Country, AlphaMedia Topeka affiliate.
“Listen to The BIG 94.5 Country Radio during August for your chance to win $10,000,” Rilinger said. “When you hear the horseshoe sounder be the correct caller and you will be entered as a qualifying thrower. You’ll report to the arena on Saturday night, and hope your name drawn to throw the horseshoe for a ringer.”
Future of rodeo is young people, noted Vann, “So a kid’s boot scramble is planned both Friday and Saturday evenings.”
Detailed information about the 94.5 Country Topeka Rodeo can be found on Facebook and the 94.5 Country website.
Many attractions are set for the 10th annual Topeka Rodeo sponsored by The BIG 94.5 Country and hosted by the North Topeka Saddle Club incluindg a Golden Horseshoe Toss, Silver Creek Rodeo Company livestock, rodeo clown funnyman entertainer Holly Harris and announcer Brandon McLagan.