Following a tradition that began more than fifty years ago, the Canyonlands PRCA Rodeo will return to Moab Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2.
“It’s a nice piece of history,” Rodeo Club President Kirk Pearson said of the event. The event’s stock contractor, Bar T Rodeo, is a family business that began in Moab and has been coming back here for more than five decades.
The event kicks off on Thursday evening with locals night and discounted admission prices. “We try to get everybody out,” Pearson said. The event brings a variety of shows, activities and eats, offering something for everyone.
“Each night we have the kids' events, we do stick pony races with the kids,” Pearson said. “Then we have the mutton busting, where the kids ride the sheep.” Children under 65 pounds will be able to participate each night of the event.
This year the rodeo will host Carly Peercy, 2018’s Miss Rodeo Utah. With her title, Peercy has dedicated herself to introducing the country’s youth to the Western way of life. This year’s rodeo clown and barrel man will be Dusty Barrett, who has been following in his grandfather’s footsteps as a rodeo entertainer since he was a child. Barrett is expected to perform some of his signature animal acts such as his Roman riding ponies, trick riding, and “Squirt Gun” the trick pony.
According to Pearson, there will be different cowboys and cowgirls featured each night of the rodeo, and most prominently the event will host members of south-central Utah’s Wright family who have won fame for their rough stock riding skills. “Some of the Wright family always make it to the NFR,” explained Pearson. “It’s kind of like the rodeo Super Bowl.” There will also be cash prizes for competitors. “If they place through sixth, each one of them gets money,” Pearson explained. “There’s an $11,000 purse between seven events.”
In addition to the rodeo itself the event will feature food vendors and live music. Bubba and the Red Rock Outlaws will put on a free concert Saturday evening. The event is expected to draw quite a crowd. “Typically we have around 900 Thursday, 1,000 Friday and 1,300 Saturday,” Pearson says. “It’s going to be fun.”
Tickets will be available for purchase at City Market, the Moab Information Center, Bighorn Lodge, Canyonlands Copy Center and at the door, which opens at 6 p.m. each evening.