Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneJackson County Rodeo Committee chair Carolyn Rider prepares the Jackson County Expo for the first Central Point Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo since 2019.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune A tractor smooths out the dirt Thursday afternoon in preparation for the return of the Central Point Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo at the Jackson County Expo. The ground was worked four times this week, preparing the indoor arena for the PRCA-sanctioned event.
Pro wranglers from near and far flock to Central Point for first Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo since 2019
From knowing the pitch-perfect sound guy to top-quality soil, a woman with decades of rodeo experience is sweating all the details to ensure the first Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo since 2019 has the same “electric,“ dirt-stomping energy fans remember.
Carolyn Ryder, the Jackson County Expo’s Rodeo Committee chair and fair board liaison, said the ground in the indoor arena has been worked no less than four times this week within the indoor Seven Feathers Event Center at The Expo to ensure that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned event running through Saturday has the soft ground that helps keep animals and athletes safe.
Ryder, who has been involved in the event for the past 14 years, said she’s seen only one animal injury in her 14 years on Jackson County’s Rodeo Committee, which she attributes in part to careful grounds-keeping.
What: Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo
When: 7 p.m. Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Jackson County Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point
Admission: $25 at the door, reserved seating $30
More info: www.attheexpo.com/rodeo
Because the indoor arena is a multi-use facility, and the Southern Oregon Home Show was just last weekend, Ryder said her team had to move fast to work the dirt — watering it, ripping it, then repeating the process to ensure no clods and “that none of the animal athletes get hurt.”
“If we can have good ground, usually there’s no accidents,” Ryder said.
Ryder admitted, however, that the risk a pro rider puts on themselves in the ring is part of the spectacle.
“People like to be the first on the scene of the crash,” Ryder joked.
Some 200 pro competitors are slated to strut their stuff between Friday and Saturday nights, May 13-14, at The Expo, with competitive events that include bareback horses, saddle bronc, steer wrestlers, tie-down roping, barrel racing and plenty of bull riding.
On Thursday night, top bull riders kick things off right with some 40 riders competing in the arena for the PRCA …….