story by Lindsay Humphrey What was once the capital of the Oklahoma territory – Kingfisher – is now the host of a rodeo that celebrates […]
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Meet the Vici Rodeo Club
story by Lindsay Humphrey
It’s been almost 25 years since Vici, Oklahoma, hosted a regular rodeo in the Vici Rodeo Club Arena. In its place, the town started a ranch rodeo to honor the foundation of the community. This is the year Vici switches things up again and reverts back to a rodeo with the regular events. “We decided it was time to have a real rodeo again, so we’re going to try it,” said John Salisbury who serves the Vici Rodeo Club as vice president. He’s a lifetime member of the Vici community and he’s been involved in rodeo for almost the same amount of time.
“I used to ride bulls and stuff but then I quit and started picking up broncs. I did that for over 20 years, so I’ve always had a hand in rodeo some way or another.” John started picking up at the legendary Cody Night Rodeo in Wyoming before starting with Bill Hext in the Texas Panhandle. John worked for Hext Rodeo Company for almost 15 years. Perhaps that’s why the Vici Stampede has contracted with Bill for the Memorial Day event. “Bill’s been putting on rodeos since the 1970s. His dad got him started and he’s continued it. His animals are big, stout and they buck hard. He just bought a brand-new set of steers and calves, so I think they’re going to be fresh at this rodeo.”
The rodeo committee didn’t want to bring in a PRCA event, so they decided on the next best thing: KPRA. “The association has really impressed us. Their entry system is just amazing. It’s one of the best on the rodeo road right now.” So far, the KPRA has made planning a breeze. When the committee needs a contact for a judge or an announcer, the KPRA has multiple phone numbers ready. The committee knows the KPRA sanction will bring in first-class contestants to their small town. They’re only 20 miles from the Woodward Elks Rodeo which boasts top talent from all corners of the nation each summer. As a result, Vici knows what it takes to bring good contestants and spectators.
“We have about 20 members on the rodeo committee that will help put this deal on. It’s a big operation when you get everything going.” The committee enlists the help of the local 4-H and FFA members to open gates, clear the arena, park cars, man the concession stands, take tickets at the gate; anything they need to run the event smoothly. The FFA hosts a ranch rodeo each fall as a fundraiser, so they are well equipped to help with the summer event. “We’re just a community-oriented town, we have a lot of events for the town. For instance, we started a community garden out on the rodeo grounds.” With any event, the town of Vici puts on, youth involvement is always a high priority.
Even though the rodeo is the main focus on Friday and Saturday evening, the rest of Memorial Day weekend will be packed with activity also. The committee is planning a parade, a Bar-B-Que cookoff and a dance, all on Saturday. “There’s usually a town-wide garage sale that weekend too. We’ll have junior steer riding for the older kids during the rodeo, but we’re also doing wild donkey riding. It’s a real crowd pleaser. We take some wild donkeys and put a bareback rigging and a flank on them and set a kid on their back and away they go. Some really buck hard and others just run off, it’s pretty good watching either way.” The weekend of the first annual Vici Stampede is sure to be a success for the rodeo committee, contestants and spectators alike. “I’m looking forward to having a good rodeo for our community. I want to see everything go well and everyone get a fair shot and do the best they can.”