Stampede keeps later start for 2018 rodeo

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  • Spectators watch calf roping during the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

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    Chase Redfield of Opheim, Montana competes in bareback riding at the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

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    Skyler Erickson of Powell, Wyoming competes in the bareback riding event at the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

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    Ashley Lentz, Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo Queen, attends the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

  • Spectators watch calf roping during the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

  • 1

    Chase Redfield of Opheim, Montana competes in bareback riding at the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

  • 2

    Skyler Erickson of Powell, Wyoming competes in the bareback riding event at the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

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    Ashley Lentz, Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo Queen, attends the Kootenai River Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Libby Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. (John Blodgett/The Western News file photo)

A change in last year’s annual Kootenai River Stampede PRCA rodeo to deal with smoke from wildfires has led to a permanent change in the nightly schedule for the July 27 and 28 event at J. Neils Rodeo Arena.

Trisha Davis-Stacy said that organizers discovered last year that starting at 8 p.m. led to better conditions overall, and they decided to keep to that schedule. The gates will still open at 6 p.m.

Davis-Stacy encouraged community members to still show early if they want to be able to get their favorite seat.

In addition, food vendors will be set up before the rodeo, so the attendees who show up early won’t have to go hungry. Vendors include Candy Clark’s food truck, Montana Charm, 40 South 4H Club, Rustic Chic, Camp Creek Roasters and Simple Simon’s Pizza.

Kootenai River Stampede t-shirts and ball caps will be on sale as well.

Additional activities for children and adults will include a bungee trampoline and gyro attraction, as well as face painting.

There will also be drawings for door prizes, and a gun raffle of a 30-06 with a Leopold Scope worth $1,050, Davis-Stacy said. A drawing will be held for a round of golf each of each night.

During the rodeo, rodeo clown Timber Tuckness will entertain children with a special event each evening, and participants can receive a gift certificate donated by CC Ice Cream and Candy.

The press release states that there will be several breaks in the rodeo for games that children can join in on with Tuckness

Tuckness, from Meeteetse, Wyoming, is a former “bullfighter” in the PRCA, and has been doing rodeos for 30 years, according to the news release. Now his son, Dusty, does the more dangerous side of the rodeo.

The father and son follow a family rodeo tradition going back to Tuckness’ grandparents, according to the release.

This year’s Stampede will also feature “Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey.”

He doesn’t ride a horse, but does have a trusty border collie mount named Boogie.

According to the press release, Whiplash, a capuchin, is two feet tall and weighs only eight pounds. He travels the country herding wild Barbados sheep at rodeos and other events to entertain the crowds.

Whiplash’s trainer, Kenny Petet, reports that Whiplash enjoys watching TV Westerns and playing catch when he isn’t herding.

The rodeo will feature bareback and saddle bronc plus bulls. There will also be timed events including calf roping, steer wrestling (bulldogging), steer roping and a barrel race.

The beer garden will open at 6 p.m. and run until midnight, coinciding with DJed music after the rodeo from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets for the Stampede are available from various locations in Libby and Troy until noon, July 27. They are Libby Area Chamber of Commerce, Timberline Auto Center, High Spirits Liquor, Homesteaders Farm and Ranch Supply and The Silver Spur Restaurant.

Presale tickets for adults are $10 and $15 at the gate. The Stampede has a new senior and students discount for those 7 to 15 and over 55. Those tickets start at $8 for presale. Children 6 years old and younger are admitted for free.

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