Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo Returns To Claremore For The 78th Year

The 78th annual Will Rogers Stampede is underway in Claremore. The rodeo, which is named after Oklahoma's Favorite Son, has gotten so big, that it now takes place over four days.

Thursday, May 23rd 2024, 4:18 pm

By: News On 6, Alyssa Miller

A rodeo named after Oklahoma's Favorite Son has gotten so big, that it now takes place over four days.

The 78th annual Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo began Thursday at Stampede Park with slack runs. More than 160 women were there to compete in barrel racing and roping.

"The slack is the contestants that do not get in the performances for May 24-26 because we had so many entries," said Rodeo Chairman David Petty.

The Will Rogers Stampede is the top money rodeo on Memorial Day weekend, attracting contestants from all over the United States. Kylie Kanngiesser traveled three and a half hours from Kansas for barrel racing.

"This one has one of the higher money added that we have for our circuit which is Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas, so you get quite a few entries at this one," Kanngiesser said.

It is Kanngiesser's rookie season with her horse Dory.

"Dory is seven and is the most important part, she is the reason I am actually rodeoing," she said.

Her family has raised Dory since birth creating a special bond both in and out of the arena. "If you are not training and riding you are working on horses, doing therapy, getting them in the best shape to come here to do this stuff, so you are working at it at all times," Kanngiesser said.

The rest of the rodeo action continues over the weekend and starts at 8 p.m. each night.

"It is a full rodeo, so we have all the rough stock events, our bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and our tight end roping, steer roping, team roping," said Petty.

The Will Rogers Stampede has been recognized nationally among rodeos and has won six times in the small category.

"The rodeo has grown quite a bit in the last 10 years," Petty said. "Out of the last 10 years, we have been nominated as rodeo committee of the year 9 times."

However, the real honor is its namesake and carrying on the cowboy legacy of Will Rogers.

"It is really neat to be at something like that that is historic," said Kanngiesser.

To get tickets for the rodeo visit WillRogersStampede.com.

Parking on-site is limited, so attendees are encouraged to ride the free Stampede Shuttle. It starts running at 5:45 p.m. nightly until the event ends around 10:30 p.m. Parking for the shuttle is at Claremore High School's Andy Payne Track & Field, the Robson Performing Arts Center, or Will Rogers Jr. High.


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