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M.V. Stampede kicks off with flare on Aug. 30

Rodeo fans will enjoy an improved Magic Valley Stampede this year, with more stock saddle bronc and bull riders and an action-packed pre-show.
Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press

Published on August 9, 2018 9:59AM

Dan Carter, left, member of the Twin Falls County Fair rodeo board, talks with committee chairman Mike Bulkley during a press conference on Aug. 7.

Carol Ryan Dumas/Capital Press

Dan Carter, left, member of the Twin Falls County Fair rodeo board, talks with committee chairman Mike Bulkley during a press conference on Aug. 7.

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FILER, Idaho — Rodeo action will return the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds during the three-day Magic Valley Stampede PRCA Rodeo Aug. 30 through Sept. 1.

The premium event draws top contenders from PRCA and WPRA to test their skills on quality bucking stock provided by Sankey Pro Rodeo, featured annually at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The stampede also shows off contenders’ talents at roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding and barrel racing.

Every year, the rodeo committee tries to make the stampede better, Dan Carter, committee member for the past nine years, said during a press conference on Tuesday to promote the fair and rodeo.

“To make that happen, you really have to step forward — ‘as good as’ is not good enough,” he said.

The rodeo is adding prize money to the popular stock saddle bronc riding event and increasing participation from four riders to six riders each night of the stampede. It’s also pulling in local bull riders and contractors to beef up its Saturday night offering, he said.

Last year, there were only two bull riders on Saturday night because top bull riders headed to the Xtreme Bulls Tour Championship finals in Ellensburg, Wash., John Pitts, fair manager, said.

The 2018 Xtreme finals are set for the same weekend this year.

Another popular event, mutton busting for youngsters, is also returning to the arena with 15 riders each night. The event is so popular that parents line up at the fair office the night before sign-up opens to get their children on the roster, and the slots fill up in 20 minutes, Pitts said.

Rodeo clown Ronald Burton will head up arena antics and bull rider safety. Burton entertains rodeo fans with family-friendly humor, and his rodeo comedy has been named the CPRA Contract Act of the Year for seven years running.

The rodeo kicks off at 7:30 each evening, but spectators won’t want to miss the preshow that starts at 7 p.m., Carter said.

“A lot of things happen during that 30 minutes,” he said.

The pre-show will start off with an action-packed video of segments from past stampedes. Other highlights will include a color guard of deputy sheriffs on horseback and personnel from numerous sheriff departments and municipalities across Idaho in their official vehicles center stage in the arena.

A dazzling pre-show is another area where the rodeo committee tries to make continuous improvement, he said.

Those improvements were part of the reason for forming the Gold Buckle Club three years ago. The club supports the rodeo, infrastructure improvements and the community through donations to charity, he said.

It is fashioned off the successful program supporting the Sheridan, Wyo., rodeo. Membership for a couple is $2,000 initially and $1,000 annually and provides VIP parking, special seating with theater stadium chairs and free dinner and drinks all three nights of the rodeo.

Membership has grown to 25 couples. Last year, the club put $7000 to $10,000 back into the rodeo and donated $8,000 to $12 to the community, he said.

For more information and to purchase rodeo tickets, visit www.TFCFAIR.com


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