For a packed weekend of high flying rodeo action, be sure to stop by the Sonoita Fairgrounds for the 104th Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo.
The Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association sanctioned event draws professional contestants who will be competing to qualify for the National Pro Rodeo Finals.
“Contestants come from all over the Southwest for our rodeo, with some from the four corners area and some from as far away as Montana,” said Jennifer Rinaldi, fairgrounds manager. “We typically draw more than 300 contestants and around 8,500 spectators.”
The top scoring contestants from Saturday and Sunday will qualify to compete on Monday for trophy buckles in the following events: bareback (bronc) riding; steer wrestling; tie-down roping; saddle bronc riding; breakaway roping; team roping; barrel racing and bull riding.
“The bull riding is a spectator favorite,” Rinaldi said. “Last year, only one cowboy rode the bull for the full eight seconds on Monday. The rest of the contestants got thrown to the wind.”
Throughout the year, the Sonoita community and surrounding areas work together to promote the region’s heritage, with the rodeo as part of that effort, Rinaldi said. A local photographer is used for the event program and promotional posters, with Rinaldi as the program designer.
“The rodeo is dedicated to promoting and preserving the sport of rodeo through our youth,” Rinaldi said. “Every year our rodeo draws great vendors, a huge crowd and talented contestants. So, head on over to Sonoita this weekend, bring the kids and enjoy our action packed rodeo.”