The Salt River Aal-Tash Fun Day Rodeo took place at the Ropers Arena on March 26. The century roping (age of two ropers must be at least 100 years) and barbeque were held in honor of the late Emmitt King, who was on the Salt River Rodeo Committee from its beginning until his passing in 2009.
The rodeo consisted of various events by age group. For kids up to age 5, the woolley ride, dummy roping and broomstick barrels were the three events. For youth ages 6-9, the competition consisted of calf riding, barrel and flag racing, pole bending and team roping. In the junior and senior divisions, events were steer riding, barrel and flag racing, pole bending, team roping and breakaway. In the 18-and-over adult division there were four events: barrel racing, breakaway, women’s calf racing and men’s calf racing.
The mother of Rawley Ben, Jr. said her two youngest children enjoy watching their brother compete in the woolley riding competition. She said all of her children have been involved in rodeos and they enjoy spending their day out at the rodeo.
Angie Silversmith, president of the Salt River Rodeo Committee, has been involved with the rodeo for the past 10 years.
“There were 50 teams who competed in the jackpot roping, and a lot of those teams entered into two or three different events,” she explained.
Silversmith said a great deal of preparation goes into hosting a rodeo every year. She said you have to find a rodeo secretary and get stock lined up: steers, calves and sheep.
“It takes a few months to get everything together,” she said. “The steers and calves came from San Tan, and the sheep came from Chandler. We had special buckles for champion header and heeler for century roping dedicated to Emmitt King.”
Although the committee does not currently fund a rodeo pageant, Silversmith said they are going to be raising money and hope to host a pageant in August or September.
Silversmith said she was happy with the turnout at the rodeo. “It was a really nice, organized event. Thank you to the volunteers down in the chutes and pushing cattle in the arena, because they were the ones who made it run really smooth. We also want to thank the sponsors and the donation of the cow for the barbeque.”