PECOS The once-a-year West of the Pecos Rodeo is steeped in custom as the home of the nation’s to start with rodeo.
It is an occasion that people today throughout the Permian Basin look ahead to each individual year but the 2021 edition had a palpable buzz.
Supporters filled Buck Jackson Arena Wednesday for opening evening of the rodeo’s return.
It was the to start with time in two decades the rodeo was held following the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the cancellation of the 2020 edition.
As the to start with effectiveness received underway, there was a feeling of normalcy returning for Brenda McKinney, who serves as the secretary and treasurer on the rodeo committee.
“We’re always so happy to host the West of the Pecos Rodeo but it is fantastic to carry it again following the tough year last year,” McKinney claimed. “It’s a great deal of hard do the job and we’ve all labored to get to this day.”
McKinney has served on the committee for 28 decades and is portion of 4 generations of her family members who have performed a part in internet hosting the occasion.
She and the rest of the committee held out hope at first by to start with postponing the 2020 rodeo to the end of July into early August right before eventually obtaining to make the phone to terminate the occasion.
It was a determination that McKinney claimed was a vital but hard a person to make.
“COVID was just setting up to strike our neighborhood rather hard and we realized we just couldn’t have it by not being aware of who would be coming in that would be asymptomatic carriers,” she claimed.
Due to the fact of that cancellation, together with various other individuals throughout the state in 2020, cowboys and cowgirls had to find a way to make up for shed gatherings.
McKinney added that there was an uptick in competitors for the 2021 rodeo.
“A great deal of them hardly had a spot to go last year and have been all set to get again on the road and do what they do,” McKinney claimed. “I imagine they’re going to try and strike as many rodeos as they can to make up for shed time.”
Dawson Hay is a person of the cowboys who competed on opening evening who was in that class. Soon after struggling a really serious head injury through a rodeo in 2020, the saddle bronc rider made his West of the Pecos debut with fellow Canadians Jake Watson and Zeke Thurston.
Hay made the most of his to start with excursion to the spot, finishing with a ride of 86.five points to direct all saddle bronc riders following the to start with evening of level of competition
“I’ve listened to nothing at all but very good issues about coming here to Pecos,” Hay claimed. “They have been all very good bucking horses and I rode a person that I definitely didn’t know a great deal about.
“It ended up going definitely very good and was ready to get a major place.”
Though Hay was enjoying his to start with physical appearance, bareback rider Garrett Shadbolt was embracing his return to the Permian Basin.
Shadbolt competed in Pecos in 2019 as a rookie on the PRCA Tour and entered the rodeo rated No. six in bareback driving.
“It’s just definitely great to be again here for the reason that it sort of places me in a portion of background,” Shadbolt claimed. “You can just explain to this is rodeo state and it just feels definitely suitable when you are again here.”
Receiving that recognition is some thing that McKinney values even extra so in 2021 following the arena was empty just a year ago.
“We’re just so happy that we’re ready to do this,” she claimed. “Even nevertheless it is a great deal of do the job and it is scorching, we all sort of have our chest caught out indicating that we’re going to do this and we’re happy to do this for not only the contestants but the neighborhood.”
>> Stick to Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas