Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Big 4 Rodeos

by Shanna Hatfield

After the hectic days of July known as Cowboy Christmas in the rodeo world, many rodeo athletes make their way to the Pacific Northwest where they'll compete in four events joined through the Big 4 Rodeo Association.

Cowboys who compete in the  Horse Heaven Round Up (Kennewick, WA), the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days (Walla Walla, WA), the Lewiston Roundup (Lewiston, ID), and the Pendleton Round-Up (Pendleton, OR) have a chance at winning a sizable cash award along with a Stoney Saddlery saddle.

The Big 4 Rodeo Association began in 1948 and is one of the oldest organizations of its type. Following World War II, the rodeo committees from Pendleton, Lewiston, Walla Walla and Ellensburg joined together to create an association that became not just a way for committees to share insights about their events and trends. Eventually, Ellensburg dropped out, but the Horse Heaven Round-Up stepped in to take their place, assuring the continuation of the Big 4 Rodeo Association.

In the 1950s, the committee added a cash prize as an incentive that drew, and continues to draw, some of the biggest names in rodeo.  A who's who list of past winners includes Larry Mahan, Dee Pickett, Tuff Hedeman, Cody Ohl, Mike Beers, Fred Whitfield, Trevor Brazile, and Tuf Cooper.

Cowboys who compete at all four rodeos and earn money are also earning points. The one with the most points takes the cash bonus and the saddle.
Held the third full week in August, the Horse Heaven Round-Up is part of the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo located in Kennewick. This rodeo's record book dates back to 1954 and it is currently one of the stops on the Pro Rodeo Tour.

The Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days Rodeo  is also a stop on the Pro Rodeo Tour. Back in 1913, organizers of the county fair wanted to add to their event. The Frontier Days Rodeo was born with a spectacular display of bull dogging, relay races, bronc riding, and stagecoach races. In 1938, it became the first night rodeo to have a fully lit arena and the phrase "Greatest Night Rodeo on Earth" was coined. 

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Lewiston Roundup. Over the years, the event has drawn some of the best athletes in the rodeo world with records held by recognizable names like Trevor Brazile and Cody Wright. The event is held the first full weekend in September.

Following a successful 4th of July celebration in 1909 that included bronc riding, relay races, and other events, a group of area leaders in Pendleton decided the town would hold an annual event called the Pendleton Round-Up.  The iconic Let 'Er Buck slogan was inspired and plans took root.
The committee decided to stage the rodeo in September to allow grain farmers time to complete their harvest and those with livestock an opportunity to make a late summer check-up on their animals. The first rodeo took place in 1910 and all the stores in town closed. Thousands flocked to this small Eastern Oregon town for the event and have been doing so ever since. Held the second full weekend in September each year, approximately 20,000 spectators a day can watch the rodeo on the historic grounds that is the only rodeo in the world to offer a grass arena.

If you have a thing for cowboys and enjoy reading about rodeo's, check out my sweet Rodeo Romance series. The newest book, Racing Christmas, is on sale right now for just 99 cents!

She’s racing to save the ranch
   He’s struggling to win her heart. . . again

Brylee Barton has just one goal in mind: win the barrel racing world championship. Not for the glory, but for the attached cash prize that could save her family’s ranch. When an injury leaves her at the mercy of the very same copper-headed, silver-tongued cowboy she once vowed to loathe forever, she has no choice but to swallow her pride and accept his help.

Fun-loving, easy-going Shaun Price has a million dollar smile, more charm than he can channel, and a string of ex-girlfriends rumored to have started their own support group. When the one woman he’s never quite managed to get out of his head or heart needs his assistance, he jumps at the chance to help. Little does he realize how challenging it will be to keep from falling for her all over again.

With the holiday season fast approaching, will Shaun and Brylee discover the gift of forgiveness, and experience their own happily-ever-after?

From the realistic rodeo scenes to the tender love scenes Shanna Hatfield keeps you reading.”
   Jodi Thomas
New York Times Bestselling Author


USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

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T Fordice said...

Loved this books - thanks for the info on the rodeos!!

craftydr said...

Loved this Shanna. Thanks.