Saddle bronc rider and heavy equipment operator Brandon Venhaus was in Steelville Friday, Sept. 6, riding in his event at the Outlaw Rodeo production there.

“I was winning when I left,” he said.

On Saturday morning, he was at Liberty Field in Pacific where he helped fellow Rich Gullet & Sons employee Jeremiah Gullet prepare the equestrian ring for the Oct. 11-12 rodeo to be held there.

The Gullet company loaned the equipment for use to till and level the field, but the two men volunteered their time to do the work.

“All in all, we put in about 40 hours on it,” Venhaus said.

Venhaus, a Pacific High School graduate, is an eight-year competition saddle bronc rider who competes in 30 to 40 rodeos a year, mostly in his home state of Missouri and neighboring states of Iowa and Kansas.

He would not learn until later in the evening whether he won the Steelville bronc competition, but it was more important to be at Liberty Field.

“Every cowboy wants a hometown rodeo,” Venhaus said.

“This ring was under water during the flood which did quite a bit of damage,” he said. “It needed some work.”

With Gullet operating a bulldozer and Venhaus operating a tiller some 7 inches of sand was mixed with the dirt and leveled the ring with a 6-inch fall for runoff. Venhaus also brought along his farm tractor to drag the finished ring.

“We have to mix the sand and dirt and make sure it’s flat with no holes,” Venhaus said. “We don’t want an animal stepping in a hole.”

The October event is the city’s first rodeo in recent memory.

Dubbed the Iron Horse Rodeo, riders will compete in eight events on each day with 15 riders in each event, including saddle bronc, bareback, calf roping, team roping, breakaway roping, bulldogging and barrel racing.

At the end of the second day, the best times will identify the winners of each competition.

Local businesses are buying sponsorships to help promote the event and raise the prize money for the competition.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor for the event can contact City Administrator Harold Selby or Richard Adams, code enforcement officer, at Pacific Government Center, 300 Hoven Drive, 636-271-0500.