BENSON — Cowboys and cowgirls will be dominating the spotlight on Oct. 9 and 10 when the Butterfield Rodeo roars into into Benson with its lineup of action-packed thrills.

A Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association sanctioned event, Butterfield serves as a state finals rodeo qualifier.

Now in its 21st year, the Butterfield Rodeo typically draws contestants from all over Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California where cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash prizes.

“We are extremely grateful for the amount of community support that we have had in bringing western entertainment to Benson,” said Heather Floyd, rodeo committee president and one of the event organizers. “We especially enjoy watching families having fun at the rodeo together. For us, that’s what it’s all about.”

Professional rodeo action consists of two types of competition: roughstock and timed events.

Roughstock events include bareback riding, saddle-bronc riding and bull riding, where the contestant’s score is equally dependent on the performance of the contestant and animal.

In timed events, which include steer wrestling, team roping, breakaway calf roping and barrel racing, contestants are competing against the clock and against each other.

Floyd said the community looks forward to the rodeo every year, which is the driving force behind the event.

As one of the founding members of a rodeo committee of five women, the group launched the first Butterfield Rodeo in 2000. From that time forward, the event has been organized by a group of local ladies. Floyd has served as rodeo committee president for a decade.

“Today, we have a committee of eight,” she said. “There’s a lot of hard work and planning that goes into organizing one of these, but it’s worth it when you get swept up into the fast action and crowd excitement,” she said.

The community is urged to head to the Arena Bar the weekend of Oct. 9 and 10 and take in the action-packed rodeo.

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