Bandera ProRodeo hosting Jackpot Barrel Race, Memorial Day Rodeo
By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer
Bandera ProRodeo Association (BPRA) is hard at work preparing for two upcoming rodeos. BPRA will host its first Jack Pot Barrel Race on Sunday, April 23, and on May 26–28, BPRA will host the 34th Annual PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) Rodeo, both at Mansfield Park at 2886 Highway 16 north.
Under the direction of President Janna Lindig, the BPRA is a 501(c)(3) qualified, non-profit corporation, organized on November 7, 2014, under the laws of the State of Texas.
The group organized after learning that the PCRA would no longer be hosting rodeos in Bandera County. BPRA was initially organized to ensure that Bandera continued the tradition of having a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) and WPRA (Woman’s Professional Rodeo Association) sanctioned rodeo in Bandera.
“As part of its purposes, BPRA has embraced the goals of engaging the Bandera County community in the rodeos, educating youth about the history of rodeos in Bandera County and instilling in youth a knowledge of the accomplishments of champion cowboys/cowgirls from Bandera County and how those accomplishments helped give Bandera the legacy as the Cowboy Capital of the World,” Lindig said.
After organizing two rodeos in 2015 and 2016, the directors of BPRA explored other means to accomplish its goals and hosting a Jack Pot Barrel Race appeared to be a good avenue.
Sign up for participants in the Jack Pot Barrel Race will begin no later than 9 am. Participants are asked to bring proof of coggins for their horse(s). Exhibition barrel runs will be part of the event and will begin at 10 am.
At 1 pm, books will close and a 4–D Race (5–D if enough entries) will begin. There will be a $5 entry fee (cash only) for the Exhibition runs and a $35 fee plus a $10 office fee for the competitive racing, cash only. Prizes will be based upon 70 percent pay back plus added money.
“There are many youth who participate in barrel racing events, and BPRA hopes that by hosting the Jack Pot Barrel Race, news will spread to more people about Bandera’s rodeos and champion cowboy/cowgirl legacies,” Lindig said.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 26–28, BPRA will host the 34th Annual PRCA rodeo that has historically taken place in Bandera, at Mansfield Park. This year marks the third PRCA rodeo hosted by BPRA. RafterG Rodeo will produce this much anticipated rodeo.
“RafterG has produced the rodeos since 2015, they are the perfect producer for Bandera ProRodeo because, like Bandera, RafterG is legendary” Lindig said.
"Sired" by Neal Gay, the Gay family has produced rodeos for 60 years, producing the Fort Worth Rodeo for over 37 years. As published by the PRCA, the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo is “The Biggest Around.” The Fort Worth Rodeo consists of 36 rodeo performances, more shows than any stock show throughout the world.
Currently run by Jim Gay, RafterG saw to it that champion stock was there to handle more than 1,200 bronc and bull rides. The January 2017 edition of the “Western Horseman” featured the Neal Gay family with the title of “RODEO GENES, How Neal Gay’s Family and Rough Stock Launched Rodeo to New Heights.”
“We are honored to have RafterG produce our rodeos,” Lindig said.
Two–time NFR champion barrelman, John Harrison will provide entertainment for the Memorial weekend.
“John Harrison provides high quality and professional entertainment,” Lindig said. “He is a high energy Rodeo Clown with strong acts. He can work the crowd, work the barrel and provide entertaining acts through the rodeo.”
Harrison was selected by his peers to be the 2013 and 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Barrelman; in 2014, he was awarded the Coors Man in the Can and Comedy Act of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He also picked up the 2015 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year.
“John gives you the fun, lively atmosphere the crowd should expect and enjoy at a rodeo,” Lindig said. “He offers the best in rodeo entertainment.”
The Memorial Day Weekend rodeos in Bandera take place at the historic Mansfield Park. The rodeos have been dedicated to legendary champion cowboys from Bandera, such as Ray Wharton and Scooter Fries.
There are seven events including Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Team Roping, Tie-Down Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling and Women’s Barrel Racing. In addition, for the little cowgirls and cowboys, there will be Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble events and the Wrangler Stick Horse Race.
“Bandera is the Cowboy Capital. We have the tradition of raising rodeo champions,” Lindig said. “We also have the tradition of having great rodeos, including our professional rodeo over MemorialDay Weekend.”
The gates will open at 5:30 pm Friday through Sunday nights, featuring vendor booths and kids activities. Mutton Bustin’ sign up starts at 6 pm and grand entries start at 7:30 pm. Cost is Adults $12, Children six–12 $6, and under six free. The BPRA is a nonprofit organization and their events are totally volunteer run.
The BPRA current board of directors include Kelly Smith, Treasurer; Jaki Perkins, Treasurer; Patti Brown, Vice President; Melissa Bommer, Jill Moore, Linda James, Secretary; Janna Lindig, President; Bob Wheeler and Sheila Fries.
The BPRA “felt honored” to be invited and featured in the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive which opened the 2017 San Antonio Livestock Expedition. They restricted the number of entrants to 33, which included two "sweep up crews" and one ambulance. The parade was televised live on SA Live.
“We are working hard to make this year’s professional rodeo the best ever,” Lindig said. “To do this, we need the continued support of the community.”
For those interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities for the historical Memorial Day rodeo, visit banderaprorodeo.org or email inquiries to email@example.com.
“Our goals are to educate youth about the history of rodeos, instill in youth a knowledge of the accomplishments of champion cowboys and preserve the cowboy heritage of this great State,” Lindig said. “These rodeos are family-oriented events.”