July 10, 2001 11:00 pm

By C.J. Gish

By The Observer

More than 225 entrants will be looking to fill their pockets with a little more cash at this years Elgin Stampede.

The rodeo committee is adding $2,000 to each event and $1,500 for steer roping. On top of that, Copenhagen/Skoal is chipping in $450 per event.

The rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Friday with the fourth annual Mark Nichols Memorial Bullarama.

The Stampede starts at 7 p.m. Saturday with slack at 10 a.m. The rodeo is underway at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Sunday performance follows the annual Suicide Race, which begins at 1:50 p.m.

Some of the top riders in the region will be on hand for the two-day rodeo, including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Associations top team-roping tandem. Richard Eiguren of Jordan Valley is the top-ranked header in the Jack Daniels World Standings with $49,164 in earnings, and B.J. Campbell of Benton City, Wash., is the top-ranked healer ($47,465). The two will team up and try to earn some winnings in an event that features 22 sets of ropers.

Brad Goodrich of Hermiston will put his PRCA fourth-ranked skills on the line in calf roping. He will be joined by 29 other calf ropers, which include six of the Columbia River Circuits top-10 performers. Goodrich won the event at the Stampede last year with a time of 8.8 seconds.

Goodrich is the only champion returning from last years Stampede. The rest of the events will have new winners come Sunday.

Two events that will be extremely competitive will be the saddle bronc riding and the steer wrestling. All of the CRCs top-10 ranked bulldogers are entered in the steer-wrestling event, and seven of the CRCs top-10 ranked riders will be in the saddle bronc event.

Randee Munns of Utah returns as the rodeos clown and as the defending champion in the Suicide Race, but a new announcer will grace the Stampede crowd. Steve Kenyon of Pendleton, who also did Unions Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Rodeo in June, will announce.