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Meet the Committee Cimarron River Stampede
story courtesy of Cimarron River Stampede
The 81st Cimarron River Stampede at Waynoka Oklahoma is always held the second weekend of August, August 10-12. Located 45 minutes northeast of Woodward, Oklahoma, Waynoka is a small town (less than 1,000) known for the Little Sahara Sand Hills – the largest state park in Oklahoma for ATVs.
From 1936 to 1938 the rodeo was held on the Perry Phillips pasture which is on the west edge of town, now owned by Larry Zook. In 1939 they moved the rodeo to the Waynoka School Football Field in Santa Fe Park. The name Cimarron River Stampede was adopted in 1946. In 1950 the Cimarron River Stampede Rodeo moved to its present day location on Broadway Street east of town. When the Rodeo Club was organized there were about 20 members. Frank Hutchison was president for several years and he along with the members did a remarkable job in making it a success. They had a roping club and cowboys from Cherokee, Freedom, Laverne, Buffalo, and Woodward would come here to rope then in return Waynoka would go rope in their towns. Waynoka was undefeated for two years.
For numerous years, Vernon Barnes served as the Waynoka Chamber of Commerce Rodeo Chairman of the Cimarron River Stampede Rodeo along with Max Olson serving as Arena Director.
The Cimarron River Stampede Rodeo continues to change and grow with Vernon’s nephew Mike Bowers taking the reigns as Rodeo Committee Chairman with Max Horn as the Arena Director in 2011. Bowers stepped down after six successful seasons and turned the reigns over as Committee Chairman to Travis Long and Arena Director Clayton Kennan. “We have trail rides, team sortings, a pasture gold tournament and a trap shoot with the Fire Department to help raise money.”
The money from the rodeo goes to putting it on the next year. “Thursday night is kids night –everyone in the elementary school gets in the rodeo for free. We get bounce houses for the kids to play on and we do an Easter egg hunt in the middle of the arena and we give away $500 in those Easter eggs over the three days. We also have a calf scramble and we give away another $100 each night in the calf scramble. We started an adult calf scramble and we give away money for that too.” The Friday and Saturday night dance is free with the rodeo tickets. “We also have a parade on Saturday morning and give away doughnuts and coffee.”