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With big-name talent set to compete, there will be 32 bull riders and 100-plus barrel racers expected

PMG FILE PHOTO - Brond riding at the Crooked River RoundupWhen the Crooked River Roundup kicks off Thursday evening, there will be plenty to see and do.

Unlike last year, when COVID protocols limited some of the things organizers could do, the Live Zone is back behind the stadium with more vendors — and big screen televisions broadcasting the performances live.

"People can just stretch out and catch it on the big screen," Roundup president Jason Snider said. "Our vendors are up, so there is lots to peruse through back there."

There has been a slight drop in numbers of competitors in the timed events, but Snider said that there is still plenty of talent that will be performing in Prineville.

There will be more than 100 barrel racers and breakaway ropers, approximately 17 bareback riders, 31 saddle bronc riders and 32 bull riders between the three nights of performances. Although the number of steer wrestlers, team ropers and tie-down ropers are down slightly, Snider noted that some of the best performers could be in those events.

For example, Blake Knowles and Bridger Chambers are both expected to compete in steer wrestling. The number of performers could still change slightly prior to Thursday, with more performers possibly being added, while others could drop out at the last minute.

Snider said that the high cost of fuel has made some cowboys and cowgirls cautious about what performances they attend. Meanwhile, the Greeley Stampede rodeo in Greeley, Colorado, conflicts with the Crooked River Roundup, which might also impact the number of competitors.

Still, Snider is predicting that all three performances will put on a good show.

"We do have some big-name guys," he said. "We've got solid numbers, good energy and strong sponsorship. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to a good rodeo."

New this year will be the young guns. Cowboys and cowgirls between the ages of six and 18 competing in six different rodeo events. Some of the top athletes from the Oregon High School Rodeo Association state finals will compete along with some of the top Central Oregon Pee Wee Rodeo performers.

Rodeo Clown J.J. Harrison is back as well. In addition, Snider said that spectators should expect some surprises prior to the start of each nightly performance.

Performances begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with a free slack performance. Friday will also have slack at 9 a.m., while Saturday's slack will be at 11 a.m.

The rodeo proper will start at 7 p.m. nightly, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are available both online at www.crookedriverroundup.com and at the gate. Children under 12 earn free admission, while general admission adult tickets are $25.


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