Dust and Dirt – It Must Be Rodeo Time

Submitted by Patty Rambo

The 19th annual Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo, Friday July 28 and Saturday July 29 is this weekend! This year will involve many changes and guarantees two nights filled with traditional rodeo excitement.  Gates open at 5:30 with the Grand Entry commencing at 7:30 pm both nights at the J. Neils Park Arena north of town off Highway 37. Rodeo fans will be impressed with the number of professional cowboys and cowgirls filling out the lineup of contestants, vying for the opportunity to compete on the four-legged athletes provided by the new stock contractor, Jon Kmita of The Outlaw Buckers Rodeo Corporation coming from Weyburn, Saskatchewan Canada.  Bullfighters Ruger Jennings and Koby Ruff will be protecting the bull riders while funnyman “Shot Gunn” Nate Reed will entertain spectators with his humor and featured acts until he crawls into his barrel to help fill his role also protecting cowboys.

High school Close-Up students again will be directing the parking duties this year.  They again will have transportation for handicapped rodeo fans who might need assistance from the parking lot to the Grandstands.  This is a “by donation” service provided in conjunction with the rodeo.  This helps these students earn a once-in-a-lifetime educational trip to Washington, DC next spring. Take advantage of their offered service. Friday night, attendees will be encouraged to wear purple in recognition of the Man Up Crusade, a public awareness program endorsed by the Western States Sheriff’s’ Association.  Because 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused each year as a result of domestic violence, this program, created by Canyon County Sheriff, Kieran Donahue of Nampa, Idaho, is dedicated to promoting healthy relationships in an effort to break the cycle of domestic abuse. Lincoln County alone experiences about 12 incidences each week. Kootenai River Stampede Rodeo is proud to join other major PRCA rodeos around the West supporting this program introduced to them by LC Sheriff Darren Short. Saturday night is the traditional salute to America – the evening will focus on the wearing of red, white and/or blue attire to the rodeo.  Rodeo IS a true American sport evolving from our Western heritage of the cowboys, cowgirls and ranch life. For the last years of over 100 degrees heat – one of those years with forest fire smoke so thick one couldn’t see to the end of the valley – the stands were packed to capacity both nights!  With a new stock contractor, new livestock plus a full lineup of contestants, rodeo fans will be treated to nearly three hours of nonstop excitement.  There will be rodeo royalty, kids’ events… fun for the entire family.

Rodeo royalty abounds – there will be FIVE beautiful ambassadors for the sport of rodeo in attendance visiting from Missoula, Darby and Newport, Washington. Several love the Libby Stampede rodeo so much that they are returning for a second and third visit.  Besides adding to the pageantry, these young ladies are invaluable for the extra work they do during the evening from the Grand Entry, carrying sponsors’ flags, pushing cattle from the arena, selling 50/50 tickets, helping corral kids during the Boot Race Friday night and Calf Scramble Saturday night to visiting with star-struck royalty fans as they pass through the stands. A break in the action will include competition for the local kids. Friday night, the very young will compete in the Boot race while Saturday night the older kids will scramble to snatch the ribbon off the tail of a fast-footed calf.  The winner each night will be awarded a new pair of boots courtesy of Murdocks Ranch Supply in Kalispell. ALL these young participants will receive a coupon for a FREE ice cream treat from the 4B’s Restaurant This event happens because of support from the community – both from rodeo fans, individuals and businesses.  KRS encourages fans to take note of WHO those sponsors ARE – thank them and frequent their businesses.  Any event doesn’t happen without them.  This year, the historic Henry’s Restaurant is again the Title Sponsor.  There will be additional rodeo atmosphere provided by the Spin ‘Em Rodeo Company out of Cour d’Alene, Idaho.  Rodeo action will be at the J. Neils Arena north of Libby.  Dates for the event are Friday, July 28th and Saturday, July 29th.  The rodeo will commence at 7:30 pm as the sun dips behind the trees on the West side of the arena dropping the temperatures which allow for a cooler evening of fast-paced professional rodeo action.  Gates open at 5:30 pm, giving visitors the opportunity to claim their favorite seats and wander through various vendor booths plus grab a delicious bite to eat with a choice ranging from the hot dog and hamburger variety to Rosita’s chips & salsa to BBQ!  Ace Hardware is setting up a misting tent on the south end of the bleachers… if a fan or contestant finds it necessary to cool off some!