WORLD'S BEST COME TO UNION

June 06, 2001 11:00 pm
BACK FOR MORE: Chance Dixon of Heppner, formerly of La Grande, finished one point out of the money at last year's Eastern Oregon Livestock Show but will compete again at this year's show. (The Observer file photo/C.J. GISH).
BACK FOR MORE: Chance Dixon of Heppner, formerly of La Grande, finished one point out of the money at last year's Eastern Oregon Livestock Show but will compete again at this year's show. (The Observer file photo/C.J. GISH).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

The Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Rodeo should have one of its largest fields in years this weekend.

The entry list totals 425 cowboys and barrel racers, many of them attracted by the $2,750 added to the purse for each event.

Of course, having some other big rodeos this weekend doesnt hurt the Livestock Shows drawing power.

Just having Sisters the same weekend helps because Sisters has $7,500 added, said Tim Rynearson, the stock shows president. Once they come up for Sisters, they say, What the heck, and come out for Union.

The Sisters Rodeo is part of the Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour, hence the more lucrative purse. The Livermore Rodeo in northern California also attracts cowboys, meaning they can compete Friday, Saturday and Sunday if the schedule works in their favor.

All of that means that some of the top competitors in the nation will be in Union this weekend, including world champion team ropers Speed Williams and Rich Skelton. The pair were staples at the National Finals Rodeo throughout the 90s and each have earned $34,430 this season to lead the Jack Daniels World Standings as header (Williams) and heeler (Skelton).

Williams and Skelton are scheduled to compete Saturday.

Three of the top six all-around cowboys in this years standings are scheduled to perform this year. Trevor Brazile of Pueblo, Colo., sits second in the world all-around standings ($62,489) and will try his hand at three events Saturday. Hes third in the calf roping standings ($39,320) and sixth in steer roping ($11,805) and will join with John Paul Lucero of Villanueva, N.M., in team roping.

Other world-ranked all-around cowboys making their way to Union include rough stock rider Scott Johnston of Gustine, Texas, and calf roper/steer wrestler Brad Goodrich of Hermiston. Johnston will perform Friday and Goodrich will ride Saturday.

The Flying Five Rodeo Company stock has drawn 75 bull riders, 54 saddle bronc riders and 32 bareback riders this year. Mike Gotham of Colville, Wash., and Mick Thompson of West Richland, Wash., are the barrelmen this year, and Randee Munns of Garland, Utah, is the clown. Steve Kenyon of Pendleton will again do the announcing.

Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Rodeo

Show times are 4 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pari-mutuel racing post times are 4:15 p.m. Friday and 1:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets cost $12 general admission and $14 reserved.