The Tarkio Rodeo Association, Tarkio Chamber of Commerce, Tarkio Lions Club, and the Kenneth and Joy Clapp family are making plans for the 25th annual Tarkio Rodeo and Rodeo Parade, as well as the car show, lunch, and rodeo ride. These fun-filled events bring hundreds to town and everyone is looking forward to another year of festivities.
It’s not easy work putting on a rodeo, and over the years there have been many different faces helping to get the grounds ready, hire the stock contractors, clowns, queens and judges, taking money, grilling up the grub sold to hungry patrons, and taking it all down again. There are even people in town who provide housing and transportation for the workers each year. In more recent years the building that sits on the grounds was converted into apartments to provide living quarters for rodeo workers who travel from afar. Though there are some years that are more successful than others, it’s always a highlight of the year for the townspeople and area community members who enjoy taking part in all the festivities. So come on out to Tarkio this Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8 and celebrate 25 years of Tarkio Rodeo glory!
This year’s Tarkio Rodeo Queen is 2019 Miss United Rodeo Assocation KD Butler. Miss Butler is from a small town near Kansas City, Missouri, where she “grew up barrel racing, goat tying, and roping! Now residing in Springfield, Missouri, I attend cosmetology school and am pursuing a degree in business. This year my goals are to not only be an advocate for rodeo and agriculture, but to also spread childhood cancer awareness in my travels! The United Rodeo Association sanctions rodeos in nine different states and I’d like to visit as many of those as I can throughout my reign! I’m excited to represent the URA and all of its members throughout this season.”
This year’s Tarkio Rodeo stock contractor is Silver Creek Rodeo Company. Silver Creek Rodeo Company’s heritage goes back as far as 1976 with the creation of the DeLayne Long Rodeo Company. For almost 30 years, the Long family produced some of the most notable rodeos in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa and annually provided top livestock to several association finals events each year.
Matt Williams, from Kansas, was a successful bull rider and qualified as a contestant at the College National Finals Rodeo. He was also a bull fighter for the DeLayne Long Rodeo Company and saw firsthand the company’s value to the rodeo industry. When the opportunity arose in 2003, Matt Williams purchased the company from the Long family and has continued to uphold its legacy.
In the fall of 2011, Williams made the decision to take the rodeo company to the next level and purchased the Western Trails Rodeo Company, an existing Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association stock contracting company and changed the name to Silver Creek Rodeo Company and now produces almost 20 different rodeo and bull riding events each year. In addition, Silver Creek Rodeo Company provides livestock for a number of high profile rodeos including the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fast forward to 2018, when Matt Williams and Silver Creek Rodeo Company added the talent and rodeo production experience of Randy Schmutz, who has been a 33-year member of the PRCA as a rodeo announcer. Schmutz has been a part of some of the largest rodeo and bull riding productions in the industry, having announced The American (rodeo) in Arlington, Texas; the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals; the College National Finals Rodeo; and four different PRCA Circuit Finals including the Badlands, Montana, Mountain States and Great Lakes Circuit Finals.
Williams and Schmutz share ownership and management and production responsibilities with one thing in mind . . . to provide the best in rodeo livestock and western entertainment for contestants and communities across the country.
This year’s Tarkio Rodeo announcer is professional rodeo/bull riding announcer Chris Pyle. Chris has been involved in rodeo and bull riding for most of his life. His grandfather took him to his first rodeo as an 11-year-old and after entering to compete in the junior bareback and bull riding, he was hooked. From there, Chris went on to claim three Missouri State High School bull riding championships. The early success allowed Chris to earn a scholarship to compete on a college team to further his education and continue to pursue his love of bull riding.
Many people consider bull riding the most dangerous sport in the world. Chris was not exempt from this danger. After 15 years of riding, reaching the professional level, it was the injuries that finally took a toll. While recovering from one injury that required surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff a friend asked him to step in and announce a bull riding event. Following that night, Chris realized this was a perfect way to be involved in a sport that he loved and decided he would continue to ride and develop his announcing skills. With time the focus shifted to announcing. Since then Chris has been blessed with numerous Finals Announcer and Announcer of the Year awards and he is grateful for every event.
Allan Dessel grew up in rural Cherokee County in Iowa. He started helping the Barnes family at their rough stock schools when he was about 13.
“The Barnes Ranch was actually the first place I ever fought a bull,” he said. “Ever since I can remember, all I wanted to do in life was fight bulls. My dad was a professional bullfighter for ten years before I was born. I grew up listening to his stories and looking at pictures of him. I was hooked. He told me about fighting bulls. He taught me the do’s and don’ts.”
Dessel started fighting bulls as a sophomore in high school at the age of 15. That spring he got my first job at a high school rodeo in Estherville, Iowa, from the Barnes family. He was accepted into the PRCA the summer after he graduated from high school. He fought his first PRCA rodeo for the Barnes family one day after his 19th birthday in his hometown of Cherokee, Iowa. In 2003 and 2004, he worked over 40 performances per year with the Barnes PRCA Rodeo Family in nine states, from Nebraska to New Jersey. His rookie year in the PRCA ended by working the Benny Binion Bucking Bull Sale at the NFR in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 2003, he has had the opportunity to work the Great Lakes Circuit Finals in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2004, 2006, and 2008.
During the fall of 2006 Dessel was urged to become a clown/barrelman by some of his fellow rodeo peers. He began putting some ideas and acts together. He traveled to Soper, Oklahoma, during Christmas break in December 2006 and learned a lot about what it takes to be a good barrelman from PRCA barrelman and specialty act, John Harrison. Harrison taught Dessel about timing, acts, and how to work with the announcer. In January 2007 he worked his first rodeo as a barrelman. He spent the rest of 2007 and 2008 fighting bulls and working as a barrelman. In the fall of 2008 he was approved for his PRCA clown/barrelman and specialty act card. In 2010 he was chosen to work the Prairie Circuit Finals as a barrelman and in January of 2014 he was chosen to perform at the First Frontier Circuit Finals.
Dessel’s family lives on an acreage south of Paullina, Iowa. There, he and his wife, Mandy, plan to raise their three children, Gracie, Stran, and Trig, as well as building a cow herd and performance horse breeding program.
On Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8, Mutton Bustin’ will begin at 6:30 p.m. for children ages 6 and under at the rodeo grounds. All must sign up at 6:00 p.m. Following the rides, the rodeo will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is: prechool free, youth 12 and under $5, and adults $15. This year’s rodeo will include $7,200 total added money. A men’s and women’s all-around buckle will be awarded to the best of the best.
The fun continues Saturday morning with the following:
Doug Summa Memorial Car Show will be held in Niedermeyer Park in Tarkio. Registration for vehicles will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, and continue through 12:00 noon. Judging will follow. Trophies for the car show will be presented at the conclusion of the parade in Niedermeyer Park. This year’s event is sponsored by the Tarkio Chamber of Commerce and the SloRollers Car Club.
Tarkio Rodeo Ride
The Tarkio Rodeo Ride includes a number of people on horseback and in horse-drawn carriages gathering at the Clapp residence northeast of Tarkio and riding into town before the start of the parade. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. All horse and mule riders and teams and wagons are welcome. Once the riders have reached town, lunch will be provided. After lunch, the riders will take part in the Tarkio Rodeo Parade and then ride back out to the Clapps’ for a potluck supper (the meat is furnished) at 6:00 p.m. Breakfast will be furnished Sunday morning, June 9. There is plenty of room for camping. All participants of this ride need to RSVP so the Clapps have an idea on the amount of food needed (call 660-744-6858).
The Tarkio Lions Club will be serving lunch (free will donations accepted) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the shelter house at Niedermeyer Park.
The Tarkio Rodeo Parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. and each participant will be directed to a line-up position at 9th and Elm streets. Past rodeo queens, contestants, rodeo board members, car collectors, clubs, organizations (including churches/schools) or individuals who like to have a good time are encouraged to join in the fun. Dress up the pets and include them, too. Businesses around town are encouraged to decorate their windows and store fronts. Pull out those scarecrows, dress them in their finest rodeo attire, and place them around town, down Main Street – anywhere that will welcome rodeo fans. For more information about the parade, contact Rhonda Riley, 660-623-4938.