Meet the Rodeo Company Rockin’ K Rodeo
story by Siri Stevens Tony Keeton started his company, Rockin’ K Rodeo in 2017. It’s not his only full time job. Tony has worked for […]
story by Lindsay King
For seventy-five years and counting the Annual Rotary Club Rodeo in Cassville, Missouri, has brought contestants and rodeo fans from near and far. Co-sanctioned as an International Professional Rodeo Association and an American Cowboys Rodeo Association event, contestants are drawn from as far away as Texas and Oklahoma. Contestant participation in the last three years has grown from 80 to almost 130. “Over the years we have ran a very successful event with Hampton Rodeo Productions, they do an excellent job. You see excellent stock when you come to this rodeo, you see some of the top contestants in all of the events strive to make it to Cassville so the quality of the show is great,” said Stan Kelley, Cassville Rotary Club member. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, Gizmo the clown will be making an appearance in Cassville this year.
The Rotary Club, formed in Cassville in the late 1930s, is a group of volunteers serving the community by hosting events such as the annual rodeo. Because it is a nonprofit organization the Rotary Club takes any profit from their events and invests it back into the community. The club wanted a way to raise some money back when they first started so they thought at that time, especially with it being a rural community, that a rodeo would be successful. “A lot of our members had a background in agriculture, rodeo was a lot more popular, a lot more people were involved in it to a great extent and they just felt a rodeo would go over well back then. They put it together and we have been carrying it on ever since.” Stan joined the Rotary Club in 1990 and has been on the rodeo committee since 1992. As the president of Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri, Stan interacts with many agriculturalists on a daily basis. Though he was born and raised on a farm, Stan did not participate in rodeo. “I attended rodeos when I was a kid and have always enjoyed being associated with rodeos and those who participate in them.”
The club has about 55 members working on various aspects of this rodeo. The committee starts planning in March. Roughly three weeks before the event, members will start doing the manual work: mowing the grounds, painting, cleaning the cook shack, etc. “It really takes a concentrated effort from the members to get everything ready and then for the actual two-day event.” Rotary Club members can be found clad in their blue shirts and hats, taking tickets, parking cars, cooking food, and maintaining the arena. “That is probably what I am most proud of, to see a group of volunteers working together and then pulling off a successful event.” Anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 people will attend the rodeo each year. With a calf scramble and the possible addition of mutton busting in the near future, this rodeo is one the whole family can enjoy. “We hope when people come out, they enjoy it. That is our whole purpose. We hope there will be continued interest in rodeos so we have the fan base to justify hosting the rodeo for years to come.” To draw more families to the event the club lets children ten years old and under accompanied by an adult in free. The club hosts one rodeo each year but started helping with Bull Blast, an event produced by bull rider LJ Jenkins.
“My favorite part now is how the Rotary Cub members pull it all together, that final week you feel that we may not have enough people to get it all done but year after year the members do what it takes to make it a successful event. The arena and everything looks so nice when you pull up that first night and all the members are there ready to go to work.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.