Pawhuska Bullriding Event To Honor Rancher Who Died After Lung Cancer Battle
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - Snow or shine, bulls will be bucking this weekend in Osage County. And Saturday night is about more than just the bulls and the riders.
“Boy, he'd be proud,” Marsha Brantley said. “Ah, aren't they pretty?”
As the bulls come crashing in to the Clarence Brantley Indoor Arena, there's only one wish from Brantley's wife of more than 50 years.
“Hopefully he's up there looking down,” Marsha Brantley said with a giggle.
Allen Brantley said his dad was a bareback and bull rider from way back.
“He was a tough cowboy,” Allen said.
He was also a rancher and for 15 years and an Osage County Commissioner.
The arena was Clarence Brantley's proudest project.
“This was his dream, right here,” county commissioner Bob Jackson said.
But Brantley never saw a rodeo or a livestock show inside these four walls he helped build.
Lung cancer took his life just before the arena opened several years ago.
“I actually brought him out here the week that he passed,” Allan Brantley said.
Not long after that, it just seemed obvious. The arena would bear Brantley's name.
“All three commissioners decided that since he had put in so much time here that it should be named after him,” Jackson said.
And on Saturday, his name will be honored once again.
This time with the Clarence Brantley Memorial Bull Riding event.
“I want to make this an every year bull riding,” grandson Tanner Brantley said.
Tanner -- a bull rider -- organized the event to raise money for a friend who's home burned down last summer, but mostly to help his grandpa's legacy live on.
“I think he'd be really happy about it, seeing the building being used, might be a little proud, I guess,” he said.
Saturday's event starts at 7 p.m. at the Osage County fairgrounds. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for kids and 6-under are free. There will be a mechanical bull and concessions as well.
Forty-four cowboys will hit the chutes in hopes of taking an 8-second ride on one of 50 bulls. And while it's cold outside, the arena is heated, so you should be able to leave your coats at the door.
“Gotta be tough,” Marsha said with another giggle.
Tough. Just like a cowboy.