By Stephanie Bunker
Moapa Valley Progress
Crowds flocked to the Clark County Fair last weekend to see some of the best rodeo cowboys in the country perform. Our small town rodeo has become part of the Million Dollar Tour of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). For a cowboy to compete in the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) they must participate and place in 22 of these regular season rodeos. That makes the Clark County Fair a major stop for many of the top cowboys.
Boyd Polhamus is one of two announcers at the NFR and he graced us with his presence all four nights. Another big entertainer was Troy Lewill, known as the “Wild Child.” Lewill was the clown and had a daring specialty act where he jumped over a truck and trailer on his motorcyle. Polhamus and Lewill worked poetically together making jokes and entertaining the audience.
“I thought it went exceptionally well,” said Rodeo Director, Doug Schwartz. “We had all the contestants we wanted. The only thing I was disappointed in was that more people didn’t get to see the quality of a rodeo we put on.”
About 9,500 people were in attendance at the rodeo over the four day period. That is down from years before, Schwartz said.
The Clark County Fair and Rodeo adds a special event every year. They host the Sponsor Team Roping. This event adds local flavor to the rodeo. A $3,000 minimum donation is what it takes to become a sponsor. The sponsor can pick a team, or Schwartz will choose a team for them. Different teams compete against each other Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday the top teams come back to compete for the title.
On Thursday the sponsor teams that competed were Tyler Bracken and Dakota Bracken. Moe Bracken, Veterinarian was their sponsor. Americans for Prosperity sponsored the next team consisting of Jon Blackwell and Taylor Schwartz. The last team to compete on Thursday was sponsored by Simplot which included Kyle Millington and Austin Eide.
Friday’s first team to rope were sponsored by HyRock Excavation. Doug Webber and Doug Davis roped for them. Justin and Ryan Yardley were sponsored by Las Vegas Events. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) sponsored Merrill and Steve Staheli.
Saturday’s sponsor teams were, Craig Wisner and Weston Adams, sponsored by Western States. Also Anderson Dairy sponsored father and son team, Reese and Jacob Hoy. Chapman Dodge sponsored John Gwanty and John Schoorl. And last sponsor was Boyd Gaming. Ryan Frei and Frank Pendleton roped for that sponsor.
On Sunday the winner of the Sponsor Team Roping was HyRock Escavation with Doug Webber and Doug Davis. Each of the ropers and John Hymas, owner of HyRock, were awarded a set of Montana Silver Smith Spurs.
Schwartz pointed out that there couldn’t be a rodeo here in Moapa Valley if it weren’t for the sponsors. “It takes a lot of money to bring in entertainers, livestock, judges, and so many others,” he said.
Plus each cowboy/cowgirl that places also leaves with a purse. The total payout to the contestants was, $193,950.35. The All Around Champion was Josh Peek. He went home with $5,745.49.
A big thank you goes out to all the sponsors of the 2012 rodeo. Boyd Gaming, NV Energy, Anderson Dairy, Mesa View Hospital, Simplot, Tritan Security, Environmental Reclamation Service, LVCVA, Moapa Valley Federal Credit Union, Western States Construction, Extreme Power Sports, Chapman Dodge, H&E Equipment, Justin Boot, and HyRock Excavating.