By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The annual Pioneer Days Rodeo helped kick off the weekend’s celebrations on the right foot at the Vard Lines Memorial Arena on Friday night, emphasizing family, wholesome fun and a boot-stomping good time.
Unlike more conventional rodeos, the Pioneer Days Rodeo is a family-fun event where ropers get to interact with their children or younger siblings through fun events such as the cow hide race.
Defending her championship from last year, Megan Sherwood not only finished first with her sister, Aubrey Sherwood, clinging on to dear life in the cow hide race but erased all doubt of her abilities by also having the second-fastest time with another cow hide rider as well. Megan is the daughter of two-time world champion team roper and Pima resident Matt Sherwood. Megan said one of the things she liked most about the Pioneer Days Rodeo was the ability to have her younger sister join in on the events with her.
“I love rodeo and horses and having it in my life,” Megan said. “I don’t know what I would do without it.”
Megan also took first and second place in the team roping event
While most of the participants hanging onto the cow hide were children, Scott Alder gave it a go with Pima Interim Town Manager Sean Lewis helming the horse. The horse seemed to have another agenda, however, as it gently moseyed its way around the arena instead of racing to the finish.
There were plenty of events for the young children as well, including multi-age group stick horse races and chicken chases, as well as a grab the ribbons off the steer chase for older children.
Adult events included ribbon and team roping and the popular cowboy musical chairs. On this take of a childhood game, the chairs are placed at opposite sides of the arena and when the music starts participants get up and mount their horses and ride to the other side to deposit themselves in an empty chair. As the chairs dwindled the competition heated up, but J.J. Alder managed to ride out the win unscathed and take home the prize of a Kainoa’s gift card.
“I love this every year,” Alder said. “It’s fun; we have a good time. (It’s) a good family event. I just hope everybody has a good time out here because we sure do.”
First Place: Dane Robinson and Cherish
Second Place: Dennis and Karen Lines
Third Place: J.J. Alder and Kashlee
Mormon Team Roping
First Place: Megan Sherwood and Chad
Second Place: Megan Sherwood and Dane
Third Place: Dennis Lines and Chad
Cowboy Musical Chairs
First Place: J.J. Alder
Second Place: Dane Robinson
Third Place: Cade Wright
First: Megan and Aubrey Sherwood
Second: Megan Sherwood and Ashlie