Attendees at this year's rodeo had perfect weather as well as some excellent performances

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Levi Durban is bucked off his horse in the ranch bronc riding event.With a big memorial roping event in Lakeview on the same weekend as this year's Paulina Amateur Rodeo, the event saw its smallest crowd in several years.

Still, by all accounts, the event was a success with some big rides and plenty of thrills and spills.

The annual Labor Day weekend event took place last Saturday and Sunday at the Paulina Rodeo Grounds.

Mike McBeth of Prineville provided the biggest thrill of the event, posting a score of 81 Saturday afternoon in the ranch bronc riding.

McBeth was far from the only rough stock rider to have a good run. Also on Saturday, Bryan Barker of Bend posted a score of 76 to easily win the bull riding, while Chase Buchanan of Powell Butte and Jack Bentz of Burns tied for first in the saddle bronc riding with identical scores of 74.

Buchanan made his ride on Saturday, while LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Lisa McLean makes a winning run in barrel racing. McLean finished with a time of 16.74, far ahead of her nearest competitor.Bentz rode on Sunday.

Redmond's Ryan Newman won the bareback riding with a score of 68, while Houston Wittenberg of Powell Butte won the kids 7-12 calf riding. Parker Buchanan of Powell Butte took first in the kids 13-15 steer riding, and Bransyn Harper of Prineville won the kids 6 and under sheep riding event.

In women's events, Lisa McLean of Paulina ran away from the field in barrel racing, posting a lightning-fast time of 16.74 seconds. No other riders were under 17.5 seconds for the event.

Jenna Johnson of Warm Springs also had a successful rodeo, taking first in breakaway roping, while Kasamira Johnson, also of Warm Springs, won the kids 9 and under barrel racing.

Powell Butte's Kashtin Waibel took first in the kids 10-14 barrel racing.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Mike McBeth wins the ranch bronc riding at the Paulina Rodeo with a score of 81. McBeth was able to stay on despite multiple high, acrobatic leaps from the bronc that he was riding. Other winners at this year's rodeo were Mike Holyan of Warm Springs in calf roping and Drew Knowles and Trey Mascall of Mt. Vernon in the wild cow milking competition.

Steve Gillen and Lucas Teskey, both of Paulina, took first in the local team roping with Jim Lowry and Jim Jones winning the open 7 1/2 team roping.

This year's rodeo started somberly as riders entered the arena leading four horses with empty saddles to commemorate long-time Paulina residents who had passed away during the year.

However, the rodeo quickly turned to a celebration of life as both young and old participants competed to cheers from the crowd.

Midway through both go rounds of the event, the rodeo took a pause to honor this year's old timer, LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Boots Raccoon makes a barrel racing run on his pony. Raccoon finished with a time of 24.29.long-time Crook County resident Denny Denton.

Denton, who was born in Prineville, was a former member of the Paulina Rodeo club and is one of the club's past presidents.

Event organizers also took time to recognize this year's scholarship winners. Reata Youngblood, Lacy Camara and Pacer Quire each received Paulina Rodeo Club scholarships, while Jillian Denney earned the Roy Hale Memorial Scholarship.

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