It couldn’t get much more fitting than this: cowboys (and cowgirls) will soon saddle up and head in to Oakdale, the Cowboy Capital of the World, for the annual PRCA Rodeo.
Home to the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, which hosts the annual event, this year marks the 63rd edition of the rodeo bringing competitors and fans to Oakdale.
While there are a number of activities scattered throughout Rodeo Week, the competition itself runs April 12-13 this year.
Festivities begin with the annual rodeo parade starting at 9 a.m. April 12, rain or shine, that starts on Mann Avenue, off West F Street and follows a course through downtown Oakdale that concludes in the SaveMart parking lot on East F Street. That is followed by several hours of nonstop PRCA action at the rodeo grounds on East F. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. for the Grand Entry and the start of events, with the ticket price at the gate $20 for adults, $10 for children from 7- to 12-years-old. Advanced tickets are $15 (adults) and $10 (children 7-12) with kids 6 and younger admitted free.
Competition includes bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, barrel racing, and team roping. The final day of action on April 13 will see the presentation of individual event championships, the unveiling of the All Around Champion and a celebration of all things rodeo.
You can buy your advanced tickets online at oakdalerodeo.com or in person at Oakdale locations including Oakdale Feed and Seed, Bucksworth Western Wear, Oakdale Cowboy Museum, Oakdale Chamber Of Commerce. Tickets can also be purchased in Escalon at Escalon Feed, Modesto at Boot Barn or Crossroads Feed, and in Turlock at Boot Barn or Turlock Feed.
If the Oakdale Rodeo just whets your appetite, there’s more opportunity to enjoy the sport a little later in the spring. Mark the calendar for May 10-11 for the 57th annual Mother Lode Round-Up in Sonora. The action-packed weekend gets under way as the parade goes through historic downtown Sonora on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., followed by the competition at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds for the rodeo. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. and the action begins at 2 p.m.
For the Sonora event, tickets will be $15 presale, $18 at gate, $7 for children 7- to 12 and kids 6 and under are admitted free. The weekend is filled with activities and fun for everyone with a dance, the observance of Mother’s Day on Sunday, Cowboy Church and a kiddie rodeo Sunday at 12:30 p.m.By DENNIS D. CRUZRODEO EVENTS:BARREL RACING
This event, for women riders, has them looking for the fastest time, getting their horses around the series of barrels in the arena in a cloverleaf patternSADDLE BRONC RIDING
Out of the chute with spurs above the horse’s shoulders, the rider has to hang on for an 8-second ride with no saddle horn and using only one hand on the rope in hopes of staying aboard for the required amount of timeBAREBACK RIDING
Another timed event, 8 seconds is the magic number for riders – without the benefit of any saddle and only one rope to hang on to – to achieve to earn a score in this eventTIE DOWN ROPING
The goal is, in the fastest time possible, get out of the chute, take down the calf and get three of its legs tied together as it lays on the arena floor, with the horse and roper working as a teamSTEER WRESTLING
Much like it sounds, the goal here is for the cowboy to bring his horse alongside the steer and, leaping from the horse, grab on to the horns and wrestle the steer to the arena floorTEAM ROPING
This two person team event requires skill and cooperation, with the heeler getting his rope around the back legs, the header getting his around the horns to stop the steerBULL RIDING
Always the marquee event, bull riders look for 8 seconds on the bull, hanging on with one hand and using legs and arms for balance, working to keep from being bucked off. Points in this event are awarded for the rider and the bull, but only count if the cowboy can stay on for 8 seconds