Outlaw Rodeo Productions returned its Iron Horse Rodeo to Pacific’s Liberty Field equestrian center for the fifth time Sept. 29-30.
Pacific, which is home to one of the largest collections of competing cowboys and cowgirls in the state, always turns out for the rodeo competition.
The Pacific Partnership orchestrated the city event and fielded a dozen vendors to create a carnival-style midway behind the rodeo announcer’s stand.
Patrons could ride ponies, buy cowboy hats of every size and color, find refreshments and a place to sit and eat.
Seven-year-old Bella Johnson of Catawissa, who was returning to the rodeo for the second time, donned a pink cowboy hat, pink boots and sipped a pink snow cone.
Eleven-year-old Amadeo Shaw discovered that half a dozen of her St. Bridget schoolmates were nearby and quickly rounded them up for a group photo.
In the rodeo ring, cowboys and cowgirls of all ages were on hand to compete and cheer on their favorite barrel racers, bronc riders and ropers. Bleachers on both sides of the equestrian ring were full of eager fans.
Stephen Flannery III, Partnership president, donned an oversized white cowboy hat and joined rodeo announcers on the stand to give such a resounding “ye haw” welcome to rodeo fans that announcers worried he might be after their job.
During halftime, youngsters were invited into the equestrian ring to take part in the traditional calf chase competition.
Three-year-old Charlie Sodemann and his dad Buddy took advantage of the access to the ring fence to get a good look at the rodeo judges and ropers gathered near the release chute as the roping competition was set to begin.
For four hours, in front of bleachers full of rodeo fans, equestrians competed in calf roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, and barrel racing.
Pacific is the second to last rodeo on the Outlaw 2017 schedule. The next one will take place in Lake Saint Louis Oct. 12.