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Gordyville Will Host the Return of a Central Region Finals
story by Lindsay Whelchel
Gordon Hannagan spent his lifetime in the role of auctioneer, but his extensive work in the livestock industry united him firmly in the rodeo world. Even after his passing, the Hannagan family has continued that commitment to the sport of rodeo by hosting the IPRA Central Region Tour Finale at their impressive facility called Gordyville in Gifford, Illinois.
Now, Gordyville is helping to welcome back a return to the IPRA’s regional finals format by hosting the Central Region Finals.
“Ultimately what we’re wanting to do is get the contestants in the central region more involved in the IPRA, so this year we’re going to go back to the old format where Gordyville will hold the Central Region Finals as opposed to the Tour Finale,” explained stock contractor Mike Latting.
The tour finale was based on money won wherever a contestant rodeoed, but the region finals will concentrate on a contestant’s home turf if they designated central region on their card.
“For years and years the central region has always been that place where guys rodeoed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and went home and went to work Monday through Friday. It was more family [centered]. The competition was always fierce,” Mike assured and added, “rodeo was their main love, but they realized that to raise a family in the mid-west you had to work during the week. A lot of these guys go to the [International Finals Rodeo], but we want to have a place where they can call home, and we’re going to try to take Gordyville back to that place this year.”
While not counting region finals winnings in IPRA world standings, the region finals will instead look to become its own destination or goal for IPRA cardholders.
Mike cited the Hannagans as being a great family to accomplish such a feat.
“The Hannagans are extremely great people. They’re horse people. They know rodeo. They know the entire horse industry, and they know what it takes to put on a good event and what it takes to make people happy and want to come back, one of the best committees I’ve ever worked with,” he said.
Jody Quiram, Gordon Hannagan’s daughter, emphasized her father’s love of rodeo and the tradition the family is keeping alive.
“We’ve had a lot of stock contractors we’ve known and have enjoyed rodeo. We appreciate good cowboys and great horses, as well as the bulls. We have a great respect for the bloodstock,” she said and added, “We’ve always had performance horses, but we’ve always loved rodeo, and we love hosting the rodeo. It’s a great crowd and lots of folks who like to have a lot of fun.”
Part of that fun includes a party each night with a band for contestants and attendees. This year, a parade is in the works as well.
The facility is weather-proof with stalling and arena all indoors and climate controlled.
The area in Illinois is not just abundant with competitors, fans are plentiful too. “We’ve got a great following here in the central states. They’re very rodeo inclined, and people that don’t rodeo still love it. Our public is very into rodeo in our community, and surrounding communities,” Jody explained.
Central-region contestants will no doubt have a new goal to set in making the region finals this year.
The Central Region Finals will be held Nov. 4-6 in Gifford, Il. For more information visit ipra-rodeo.com