MAKING A PAYMENT • Chris Memmott, left, presents a check for $10,000 to Chad Winn, County Commission Chairman.
By Myrna Trauntvein
Just in time for the 80th Annual Ute Stampede Rodeo in July, Chris Memmott presented a $10,000 check to Chad Winn, Juab County Commission Chairman, at commission meeting today.
The rodeo, a Nephi stand-by, will be held July 10, 11, and 12 and the 2014 Ute Stampede tickets are now on sale.
"I am here to represent the Ute Stampede Committee," said Memmott.
Memmott said that he was attending Juab County commission meeting for the primary purpose of presenting the annual check to the commission as the Stampede's portion of the payment made to repay the cost of building the new bleachers on the west side of the arena which were constructed several years ago.
"The committee has been faithful in making the annual payment they pledged," said Winn. "We thank you for it."
The fairground replacement bleachers were paid for by a Community Impact Board (CIB) loan.
The loan was for zero percent interest and the contract is to be repaid in 30 years. Some of the CIB money also came in the form of a grant which does not need to be repaid.
The money amounted to approximately $1 million.
It is being repaid by the county, the county fair's demotion derby proceeds and by the Ute Stampede proceeds in a three-way agreement that calls for each entity to pay $10,000 each year.
"The Ute Stampede has a date issue," said Memmott.
There are several large rodeos that take place at about the same time which are also National Finals Rodeos. That causes one problem for the Ute Stampede, he said, and that was that there were few bareback riders who wanted to compete.
However, bareback riders have to have a great deal of stamina to even compete in that sport, said Winn.
"There are not a lot of men who have the strength to ride bareback," said Winn.
Bareback riding offers a sensation about as enjoyable as riding a jackhammer, pogo stick-style, using only one hand.
"When I rode, we wrapped adhesive tape around our hands sticky side out," said Winn.
The PRCA outlawed the use of tape and cowboys then used resin. Now they have a ridged glove that fits into a rigging made of leather and constructed to meet PRCA Rodeo safety specifications. The rigging, which resembles a suitcase handle on a strap, is placed atop the horse's withers and secured with a cinch.
When the rider comes off the horse, said Winn, the only way to get loose is to pull the hand up and out. Sometimes that takes time and the pickup rider has to stay close.
A lot of cowboys would rather perform in other events, said Winn.
"Bareback riding is too dangerous," he said.
One other problem is that the competitors would rather get paid more money than they get at the Ute Stampede.
"We, as a committee, could go out and raise funds (to make the prize larger)," he said.
However, with fewer competitors in the category it is still unclear who might be drawn.
"This year we have opened the rodeo arena to advertising," said Memmott. "We would like to use some spaces inside the arena."
The committee has no intention of allowing advertising to be pasted all over but will allow some in order to increase revenue.
"I'm excited about the rodeo," said Memmott.
Exciting acts have been planned and the arena is in good shape.
It had been hoped that the new chutes would be in place from the end of C to the end of F but that will, more realistically, happen in the 2015 year to be in place for the 81st rodeo.
Southern Bleachers will be in charge of the project.
"It is like remodeling the kitchen sink and before you know it you have remodeled the whole house," said Memmott.
Bobby Kerr and his unique team of American mustangs will be at the Ute Stampede, as will Troy Lerwill, six time PRCA Comedy Act of the Year, three time NFR Barrelman, and two-time Coors Man in the Can.
"Troy is one of our most requested acts at the Ute Stampede and we are pleased to welcome him back," he said.
Kent Lane will be jumping into the arena with a giant American Flag in the Patriotic Opening Ceremony once again this year.
Announcer Mike Mathis, who calls the action on horseback from the arena floor will also return. He has been voted one of the top five PRCA announcers. Mike has announced the Dodge National Circuit Finals, the Texas Circuit finals and has also been an alternate at the WNFR.
The Ute Stampede Rodeo is a PRCA sanctioned Rodeo that is traditionally held the second week of July in Nephi, Utah.
Those who are interested in purchasing tickets may visit the rodeo webpage at Utestampederodeo.com for details.