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 […]
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Meet the Committee Hinton Kiwanis Club Championship Rodeo
story by Lindsay King
A rich history with the PRCA and state of Oklahoma has kept the Hinton Kiwanis Club IPRA Championship Rodeo going strong for 86 years and counting. The small town of Hinton, Oklahoma, hosts the annual event every July since 1931. Terrell Coffey, head of the Kiwanis Club rodeo committee, has personally been involved with the rodeo for more than 50 years. “I rode in the first rodeo parade here when I was five years old. I am a member of Kiwanis and I’ve been chairman of the rodeo and either announced or co-announced the rodeo for more than 20 years.”
This rodeo was started after M.E. Scott, a local auctioneer and mule buyer, traveled to Missouri for an auction and found himself at his first rodeo. The Kiwanis Club was looking for a way to raise money for what is now known as Red Rock Canyon State Park. The first rodeo committee contracted stock from Clyde Miller from Holly, Colorado, and this brought Leonard and Amy Stroud to the rodeo. “At the time they were probably the best trick ropers around. At that first show they said Leonard made a five-horse hitch while running abreast all while standing on his head.” At the time this was one of the first organized rodeos in Oklahoma along with three others, none of which continue today other than Hinton. “In 1937 the Hinton rodeo name was carried on the Associated Press and United Press wires.” Cowboys all across the nation went on strike to protest a lack of representation for their interests after an unfair point and award system was established. Two rodeos were picked by the cowboys, the Pendleton Roundup and the Hinton Kiwanis rodeo to represent their ideal picture of rodeo. “As a result of that strike, the Cowboys Turtle Association was formed and was the forerunner for the present PRCA.”
Terrell grew up on a small family farm and was always around livestock, he started riding rough stock in high school. “After I quit competing, on a whim I went to New Mexico to Zoop Dove’s Rodeo Announcer school.” His first weekend back in Oklahoma he announced a ranch rodeo and has been doing it ever since, including seven state finals. “Clem McSpadden was a good friend of mine and he was definitely a mentor to me. Through the years I have worked with a lot of great announcers and traveled across the country.” Terrell and his son Lance own and operate Coffey 7C Ranch as well as Coffey Auction, Real Estate and Insurance in Hinton. His involvement with the Kiwanis Club stems from their emphasis on providing opportunities for area youth. “All the money raised from the rodeo goes back into the community for high school scholarships, we donated the land for the Hinton Youth Sports Complex and bought an ambulance for the town, just to highlight some of what the club has done.” In the 70s and 80s, the Hinton rodeo brought people from all over the state to see big-name country artists. This included George Strait the year he was named entertainer of the year, Reba McEntire, Johnny Paycheck and John Conlee.
“From start up to now, there have been a lot of world champions that have competed here at Hinton. A lot of the greats in rodeo have performed here over the years.” One of the highlights of the rodeo is the down-town parade Saturday afternoon before the first performance. Roundup clubs, antique tractor and car enthusiasts, Indian dancers, the stock contractor and business floats participate in the event. Mutton bustin’ and the calf scramble are staple events for the rodeo but sometimes a boot race or musical chairs will be added. “We have people who are now grown up whose kids and grandkids are now riding in the mutton bustin’ just like they did way back when.” Traditionally, the winner of the mutton busting will get a trophy belt buckle just like the other champions of the rodeo events. The line up has recently included junior barrel racing as well as ranch bronc riding. “It is some of the best family entertainment people can see anywhere and you always know that you are going to get good quality contestants with an IPRA rodeo.”