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Bulls and wild horses to be challenged Friday night

 


Yippy ki yay! The 7th Annual Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Riding & Wild Horse Race is coming up this weekend, named after a rodeo legend who called the Coulee home.

Friday, June 15, will see the events start at 6 p.m. at the Ridge Riders Rodeo Grounds on Alcan Road in Delano.

The event is named after local cowboy legend Cleatis Lacy, who moved to the area in 1945.

Raised in eastern Montana, immersed in the life of a country boy, Lacy had plenty of experience riding animals, even riding wild horses and saddle broncs as a teenager, representing Montana in the Calgary Stampede when he was only 16 years old.

Locally, as well as nationally, Lacy is mostly known for being a flankman, knowing the animals well and being able to give advice to the riders.

“He was well respected by the cowboys,” said Lacy’s daughter, Clea Pryor. “He was truthful.”

“It’s a very nice honor for him,” Pryor said about the Ridger Riders’ event being named for her father.

“He was an all-around cowboy, in addition to being a hard worker, and one of the original ‘ridge riders’ who helped start a rodeo arena here,” said George Kohout, himself a seasoned local rodeo man and president of the Ridge Riders, the group sponsoring the event.

“He was pretty well known,” Kohout said about Lacy, who worked nationally with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, worked with rodeo contractors and received a belt buckle from the PRCA honoring him at one point before he died in 2011 at the age of 89.

At the rodeo on Friday night, the bull riding competition is something most folks are probably familiar with, but a wild horse race needs a bit of an explanation.

There are 10 teams, each consisting of three people, signed up for the wild horse race.

Each team will have a wild horse released from a chute. The team will have to throw a saddle on the animal, then a rider will have to mount it and ride past a certain point in the rodeo arena.

Five teams will compete at a time for the first two rounds, and a final round will then take place to determine the winners, who will receive cash prizes.

The big screen that showed instant replays at the Colorama Rodeo in May will be back at the event, and the Rattlesnake Saloon will be open to help wet your whistle.

Admission to the event is $12 for adults, and $10 for those 17 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Loepp Furniture.

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