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The Observer paper 11/21/14

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BARREL RACERS DESCEND ON UNION

BUSTIN' TIME: The Catherine Creek Rodeo's Family Day starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Livestock Show arena and features mutton busting, barrel racing, goat tying and more. (The Observer file photo/PAT PERKINS).
BUSTIN' TIME: The Catherine Creek Rodeo's Family Day starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Livestock Show arena and features mutton busting, barrel racing, goat tying and more. (The Observer file photo/PAT PERKINS).

By The Observer

UNION At least 160 barrel racers, probably more, are expected to race through the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show arena Friday and Saturday night during the annual Catherine Creek Rodeo.

Sanctioned by American 4D Barrel Racing, the rodeo expects one of its largest crowds of barrel racers, organizer Denny Langford said.

This is probably (some) of the biggest barrel racing around, Langford said. Theres going to be a lot more coming in this year. We anticipate, anyway.

Fridays and Saturdays performances begin at 7 p.m. at the livestock show grounds. The annual family day starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the arena.

Tickets cost $3 in advance and $5 at the gate. Advance tickets are eligible for drawings and may be purchased from any court member: Queen Mallory Wike, 562-5308; Princess Laura Osburn, 562-5296; Princess Holly Hardesty, 523-9094; and Princess Clarissa Cauth, 894-2381.

A big attraction for the barrel racers is the $3,000 added purse, $1,500 for each nights performance. The 4D setup also improves the odds of winning, with all racers ranked by times that are then divided into four groups; each group has its own winnings.

The annual rodeo, a benefit for the Union High School FFA chapter, will also include bull riding sanctioned by the U.S. Championship Bull Riding Association. Twenty bulls are scheduled each night, with a payoff each performance.

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