Rodeo returns to Wantage

Cowboys and cowgirls thrilled the crowd

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  • A competitor reaches for the calf during the steer wrestling contest. In the background rodeo clown Hollywood Harris (Cliff Harris) looks on. Photos by George Leroy Hunter

  • A calf is ensnared by the lasso during the tie down roping contest.

  • Rodeo competitor Drew Carnes of Hornell, New York raises his arms signalling he is finished binding the calf in the tie down roping contest. Carnes earned first place with a time of 11.8 seconds and pocketed $568.00 dollars.

  • An ornery horse rears up on it's hind legs trying to shake off a rodeo cowboy during the bronco riding contest.

  • When the gate swings open a horse charges out with a determined rider in the saddle during the bronco riding contest.

  • Rodeo cowboy Guan Pilon of Mullica Hill New Jersey rides atop an angry bull in the bull riding contest.

  • A raging bull tries to shake off a rider.

  • Rodeo clown Hollywood Harris (Cliff Harris) smiles for a portrait. He kept the competitors safe and the spectators entertained. Harris has spent more than 30 years in the rodeo business.

George Leroy Hunter

— Green Valley Farms Seventh Annual Professional Rodeo took place on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Competitors from across the United States and beyond participated in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) sanctioned event at the Wantage Township farmstead owned and operated by Duce and Joy Tallamy.

Spectators got the chance to see some incredible rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in action. They also got to see some new powerful pickup trucks on display next to the arena supplied by Franklin Sussex Auto Mall. Franklin Sussex Auto Mall was the main sponsor of the event.

Numerous local vendors had tables and booths set up on the Green Valley Farms grounds hawking rodeo and country western related items. The aroma of sizzling barbecue enticed visitors to take a bite.

Several skydivers from Skydive Sussex put on an aerial spectacle before the rodeo began. The skydivers made staggered landings on the grounds next to the arena. Their grand entrance was capped off by a display of a large American flag flapping in the wind carried by skydiver Christian Cody of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania as he made landfall.

After the singing of the National Anthem, the rodeo got underway by 2:00 pm. There were plenty of thrills and spills as competitors did their best to win some of the $12,935.00 dollars in prize money and put on a good show too. Despite some tense moments with some rampaging bulls and bucking broncos no competitors got hurt.

"Bull riding has been deemed by sports writers to be the nation's most dangerous sport," rodeo announcer Greg Simas said, "but every rodeo event has an element of danger. The cowboys and cowgirls who compete love what they do."

The crowd roared with delight as they watched veterans of the rodeo circuit compete. Bareback riding, steer wrestling, bull riding and barrel racing were among the list of events cowboys and cowgirls competed in.

Cowboys hung on tight as they rode atop bucking broncos and angry bulls. Cowgirls steered their steeds with a firm grip and finesse as they traversed the course in the barrel racing event. Regardless what event they participated in all competitors had the same goal and that goal was to win...and bring home some cash and earn some bragging rights in the process.

A list of final placings can be found on the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association website:

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