Fallon County honored for having best large rodeo in state
By BRYCE MARTIN
Baker’s PRCA rodeo is the best in the state. And it has a major award to prove it.
Each year the Montana PRCA Circuit Finals Committee gives an award to the best small, medium and large rodeos in Montana. This year, Baker got the honor of being the best large rodeo, going up against some stiff competition.
“Rodeo is a tough sport that takes a lot of time and money, not to mention the wear and tear on their bodies,” said Lani DeBuhr, manager of the Fallon County Fairgrounds. “When contestants come to Fallon County they feel welcome and appreciated.”
Not to mention the condition of the arena and size of the rodeo’s purse shows the participants that Fallon County takes the sport seriously.
“These things combined together is why the contestants cast their vote for us versus other rodeos in our category,” DeBuhr said.
The size of a town’s rodeo is dependent on the size of the rodeo purse, not the size of the facility or town as one would think.
So that allowed for Fallon County’s rodeo to be classified as large. Fallon County went up against other large rodeos such as ones in Billings, Helena, Great Falls and Livingston.
It’s ultimately the rodeo contestants who vote on the best rodeo in each class or category with the Montana PRCA Circuit Finals Committee presenting the award at the Montana Circuit Finals each year in Great Falls.
“The Fair Board, community members and volunteers work year-round to bring the best PRCA Rodeo they can to Fallon County,” DeBuhr said.
Over the last three years several things have changed to position Fallon County’s rodeo at the top.
In 2015 the Fair Board made significant improvements to the arena, turning the facility into one of the best in Montana. At the same time, key players built a strong base of committed sponsors in the community who believe in the sport of rodeo. “These sponsors have made it possible for our rodeo to have a large purse that attracts top competitors and spectators of the sport,” she explained.
Volunteers have also committed in helping the fairgrounds succeed by working the grounds, setting up panels, working the livestock and ensuring contestants feel welcome and appreciated when they hit Fallon County.
“Without the support of our great community, this award would not have been possible, that is for certain,” she said.