Thousands of people flocked to the Roy Pioneer Rodeo grounds over the weekend to watch cowboys and cowgirls compete during the 62nd iteration of the annual event.
Nearly 100 competitors were scheduled to participate in the slated field of events at the rodeo grounds on Higgins Greig Road in Roy in front of a standing room only crowd.
On June 4, the schedule featured bareback riding, tie down roping, novice bronc riding, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, cow milking, military bull riding, bull riding and barrel racing.
Karen Briskey, the secretary of the Roy Pioneer Rodeo Association, said she has attended the Roy Rodeo since she was a little girl. Briskey has been with the association for 10 years.
“All of our events are full today,” Briskey told the Nisqually Valley News on June 4. “We’re excited. It’s been great ever since COVID. Every single rodeo since we reopened has been packed. People are excited to be out here.”
Briskey said she enjoys the camaraderie the rodeo brings the most.
“We’re all a big family and community,” she said. “I love it when we all get together and we get to do it twice a year. Our next show is in September.”
Troy Erb, who competed in the tie down roping and cow milking events on June 4, has deep family roots associated with the rodeo.
Before Erb’s competitions, he said his family has helped run the Roy Pioneer Rodeo for nearly 40 years. Being able to help his family and compete in the rodeo means a lot to him.
“The Erb, Sleeman and Erickson families have helped run this rodeo for a long time,” Erb said. “Family is everything. Without family, it gets hard to do anything. Rodeo is such a tight family and everywhere you go you see friends or family.”
After being around the Roy Rodeo “a lot” as a kid, Erb said the rodeo itself and the rodeo grounds have gotten bigger and better as he’s gotten older. The improvements over the years include the pouring of concrete into a concession stand, the construction of new fences and yearly maintenance.
“The improvements we’ve made have been great,” Erb said. “I helped paint and build around here since I was a little kid. We’ve been a big part of this rodeo for a long time.”
Erb said the Roy Pioneer Rodeo is a great traditional event that gives back to the community and the surrounding areas each year it returns.
“It’s a big community deal for this whole town,” Erb said. “Most of these people make their money off this rodeo and this is where the town survives.”
Shawna Painter said the Roy Pioneer Rodeo has always been special to her.
“I’ve been out here for years. I moved to Roy in ‘72 and got involved with the rodeo in the ‘80s. My boys are all involved in the rodeos. Two of them are working in here with me,” Painter said on June 4. “I was drawn to the rodeo by the excitement and the friendship. I love the people. Most of them are really good to talk to and joke with.”
She said each year, the Roy Rodeo brings a lot of excitement to the town and the surrounding communities. She described it as a “good place to be” and said everyone has a great time while attending.
The Roy Pioneer Rodeo will return on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4.
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