Reliving the wild wild West

DJ Cooper of Anderson, was the only cowboy to stay atop a raging bull for the required eight seconds at the 64th Annual Coarsegold Rodeo last weekend, walking away with the total amount of prize money for the event - $1,900.

Other top prize money winners this year included $2,232 to two team roping partners who tied for first in the event - Zane Dishion (Bishop)/Cody Cowden (Atwater) - and Ron Darrel (Sanger)/Blaine Ketscher (SquawValley) - Kristen Loverin of Cottonwood, $1,083 in break away roping - Colton Farquar of Oakdale, $850 in calf roping - and Julie Martin of Paso Robles, $726 in barrel racing.

More than 200 cowboys and cowgirls competed for $20,000 in prize money in the Bohna Arena.

Some from larger cities like San Jose, Las Vegas, Reno, Fresno, Salinas, Concord, Visalia, Chico, and Modesto. Others from small specks on the map like Le Grand, Cottonwood, Lagrange, Hilmar, Crows Landing, Gustine, Spreckels, King City, Oakdale - and from across the ocean, Kona, Hawaii.

There were also well-known Mountain Area fan favorites including Logan Alberta and George Veater of Coarsegold, and Dillon Miller of Ahwahnee.

With first names like Colton, Wyatt, Cody, Logan, Travis, Cash, Tanner, Sierra, and Casey, many seemed destined to be in that arena since birth.

More than 2,500 rodeo fans attended the two-day rodeo, with another 500 Mountain Area school children attending Friday’s Heritage Days, making crafts, enjoying hands-on activities, and witnessing a variety of rodeo demonstrations including barrel racing, pole bending, and a horse parade.

This year’s Grand Marshals, Dennis and Kathy Creighton, were presented with their commemorative rodeo belt buckles from long-time friends Pat and David Strimling.

“It was a wonderful turn out, a great weekend,” Jill Satterfield, president of the Coarsegold Rodeo Association said. “We appreciate all the Tweed family has done for our rodeo association. All the improvements made this the best rodeo yet ... the rodeo contestants were thrilled with the improvements, and we had a record number of competitors. We thank everyone for supporting us.”

The event was sanctioned by the California Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association.