Up North: Spooner Rodeo prides themselves on tradition in 69th year
For close to seven decades the Spooner Rodeo has capped off a fun filled fourth of July weekend and this year was no different.
Since 1954, the Heart of the North Spooner Rodeo has guaranteed the biggest thrills, spills and outright excitement that a professional rodeo can offer and in its 69th annual year it lived up to not only the excitement once again, but also the long-lasting tradition.
“I’m the third generation of Lamoine’s that have been working on the committee here at the rodeo. My grandfather, being one of the founding members. This is a pretty family centered type of event. This is one of the few events left where we pray before we start and to me, that that holds a lot of value. I think that says a lot about the character of the type of folks that come to these events and put these events on,” said rodeo committee member Weston Lemoine.
One of the most unique things about the rodeo is their partnership with their stock contractor the Barnes company, which is the longest standing relationship in pro rodeo history. Showing how crucial it is to build a foundation of trust with your animals.
“If you were to compare it to some other sport, you’re working with other people as a team. It’s basically the only event where you’re working with livestock, livestock is your partner. There is really nothing else like that where you must have connections with livestock,” continued Lemoine.
The rodeo is all about tradition, with every year top-ranked competitors strapping on the chaps and pitting their skills against some of earths biggest, roughest and wiliest stock in events like bareback and saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bull riding and team roping.
“A lot of what Spooner has is history and heritage. Every year that we come back here, it’s a new record as far as PRCA rodeos go. It takes us 10 to 11 hours of work every day just to put on a two-and-a-half-hour rodeo. With task like caring for the animals, feeding, sorting and grooming. There’s just a lot of work but it’s a labor of love, really,” stated owner of Barnes PRCA Rodeo Marty Barnes.
For an event to continue this long it must continue to not only captivate local audiences but also national eyes.
As how well they compete at Spooner may ultimately affect their ability to qualify for circuit finals, other rodeo competitions, and at the national finals held annually in Las Vegas each December.
“It’s always been the number one goal I’ve had is to be a national finalist bareback rider and be a world champion. So, I’m lucky I’ve been able to pursue it for as long as I have,” added bareback rider Tanner Haus.
“I started at 13, turned 18, got my PRCA permits. I am one of the youngest in the PRCA to get a permit. I’m thankful for every day the opportunities I’ve had to get out here and do this, I love fighting bulls. It’s just a great opportunity to be around rodeo and all the good people there is in the sport and it’s just awesome,” concluded Bull Fighter Brock Hansen.