Indoor riding arena

Rodeo Returns – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneJackson County Rodeo Committee Chair Carolyn Rider prepares the Jackson County exhibit for the first Central Point Wild Rogue professional rodeo since 2019.

Andy Atkinson/Mail Tribune A tractor flattens dirt Thursday afternoon in preparation for the return of the Central Point Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo to the Jackson County Expo. The ground was worked four times this week, preparing the indoor arena for the PRCA-sanctioned event.

Pro wranglers from near and far flock to Central Point for the first Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo since 2019

Whether it’s knowing the perfect sound guy or a top quality floor, a woman with decades of rodeo experience sweats every detail to ensure the first Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo since 2019 has the same “electric” energy, which fans remember.

Carolyn Ryder, chair of the Jackson County Exposition Rodeo Committee and board liaison, said the indoor arena floor has been worked no less than four times this week in the center. Seven Feathers indoor event organizer at the show to ensure the Rodeo Cowboys Professional Association-sanctioned event that runs through Saturday has the soft ground that helps keep animals and athletes safe .

Ryder, who has been at the event for the past 14 years, said she had seen only one animal injury in her 14 years on the Jackson County Rodeo Committee, which she attributes it in part to careful grounds maintenance.

What: Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo

When: 7 p.m. Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Or: Jackson County Exposition, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point

Admission: $25 at the door, reserved seat $30

More information: www.attheexpo.com/rodeo

Because the indoor arena is a multipurpose facility and the Southern Oregon Home Show only took place last weekend, Ryder said his team had to move quickly to work the dirt — water it, tear it up , then repeat the process to make sure there were no divots and “none of the animal athletes got hurt.”

“If we can get a good pitch, there are usually no crashes,” Ryder said.

Ryder admitted, however, that the risk of a professional runner imposing himself in the ring is part of the spectacle.

“People like to be the first on the scene,” Ryder joked.

Some 200 professional competitors are expected to strut Friday through Saturday nights, May 13-14, at the Expo, with competitive events including bareback horses, saddle broaches, steer wrestlers, tie-downs, barrel races and many bulls. horse riding.

Thursday night saw the top bull riders kick off with some 40 riders competing in the arena for the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour, a first event for the Central Point Rodeo. Earnings count towards their PRCA World Ranking, which helps determine who qualifies for the biggest event in professional rodeo, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

“They came from all over the United States to be here,” Ryder said, calling the bullfighting event a “man versus beast competition.”

After the main performance on Friday night, there will be “slack” performances for additional professional competitors coming from as close as Central Point to Caldwell, Idaho. The loose roster shows 11 tie-down competitors, 11 team-rope competitors and 41 barrel race competitors in what Ryder described as some of the greatest rodeo has ever seen.

“What that means is that our rodeo is so popular with competitors that we’ve overfilled,” Ryder said. “They are fighting over the same dollars. … With all the rodeos that have been closed for the past few years, attendees are excited to be here and participate.

Ticket sales figures and expected crowd attendance for the rodeo were not available Thursday afternoon, but Ryder was pulling out all the stops for the event. For example, she described the Bend-based AV technician she hired, Jason Buchanan of Pro Rodeo Sound, as one of the best in the business.

“He puts the subwoofers under the bleachers so you can feel the music,” Ryder said.

Ryder’s passion for rodeos spans decades, beginning in 1979 when she was a standard bearer in the Rogue Valley Roundup.

“Rodeo is kind of the endeavor of a lifetime,” Ryder said.

On Thursday, Ryder could barely walk away as she coordinated a variety of last-minute challenges, such as determining which of 20 volunteer runners would carry sponsor flags.

“And then try to figure out how to wash a white horse without getting it wet,” Ryder said.

The solution to this conundrum, according to Ryder, is a dry shampoo specially formulated for equine use.

When it’s showtime, it’s worth it for Ryder. She said what she loves the most is the energy when the horses rear up and the crowd cheers.

“It’s electric,” Ryder said.

Contact Web Editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.