Mercedes Wilson visited the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo and spoke with the owner, John Kent about the rodeo and how he got started. John says he use to break horses when he was 15 or 16 years old, and people would come to him and ask him to break their horse for them. He says, “So I was training horses back then so I got pretty good at riding bucking horses and rough riding horses and getting them straightened out and I said to my parents one day, ‘hey I want to start riding in rodeos where I can make some money, you know, riding bucking horses and that. Well, my mom came three feet out of her chair and said, ‘Oh no you’re not!’ and I said mom I’m riding out here in the cow pasture. Nobody’s here to help me if I get in trouble on a horse, if I get hung up or something. At a rodeo there will be somebody to help me. She would not allow it.”
At the rodeo, where they are standing, there was nothing there just a field. He says they plowed out the arena, he hired a man to put the telephone poles in so he could put electric and lights around the arena and he says about 500 ton of sand we have a rodeo arena. He says they held their first rodeo 33 years ago.
The rodeo this year is June 30th , July 2, and 3rd. They have three-evening shows. The gates open at 5pm and the rodeo starts at 7pm and John says immediately after the rodeo they do fireworks and then Sunday afternoon the gates open at noon and the show starts at 2pm. John says, “The show lasts 2 hours 35 minutes – 2 hours 40 minutes and “I’m telling you, there is so much excitement in this arena, everyone is on the edge of their seats.”
Jayden Doutt, Ontario High School, breakaway roping champion. She says, “I compete in breakaway roping, goat tying, high school rodeos, pole bending and barrel racing. If other girls wanted to get into it, I would say go chase your dream and don’t run away from it. If it is scary at first, keep going through it and you’ll eventually get to the top.”
For more information call 716-699-4839 or visit their website Ellicottvillerodeo.com