Weekly News

In the Spotlight: Arcadia Rodeo - 'The Granddaddy of all Rodeos'

March 09,2017 13:12

"It was founded in 1928 by the American Legion," says director Terry Welles. "They were trying to raise money to build a new building. They spent about four years running it, got enough money to build their building and they quit." Terry Welles' dad ...



The Arcadia Rodeo has thrilled audiences for 89 years."It was founded in 1928 by the American Legion," says director Terry Welles. "They were trying to raise money to build a new building. They spent about four years running it, got enough money to build their building and they quit."Terry Welles' dad , his Grandfather and a friend took over the rodeo and it's been going strong ever since."Its the oldest and largest, and the best rodeo east of the Mississippi river. "The rodeo kicks off Thursday."You'll see the finest bucking stock known to man," says Welles. "Frontier Company puts on a heck of a show down here, we'll have wonderful animals, the worlds best cowboys ,bull fighters, clowns , all kinds of acts and people who love the sport."And anytime there's a bull rider in the arena, professional bull fighter, Blue Jeanes will be there. too." When the cowboys ride the bulls, the bulls are mean," says Jeanes. "When they dismount the bull, whether the bull throws them off or they make an eight-second ride, my job is to distract that bull and make that bull chase me instead of chase the cowboy. It gives him a chance to get up and get away. "It's a pretty dangerous job."There will be two of us out there fighting bulls and we try to work as a team. One guy gets in trouble and the other one tries to help, kinda back and forth, distracting the bull to give those cowboys a chance to get up and get away."His partner in the ring is rodeo clown Keith Isley. He's armed with this barrel."This is kinda like an island of safety," says Isley, "or a way to get away from the bull that's chasing you."The barrel is padded inside and out, so it doesn't hurt the bull when he hits it and it doesn't hurt the cowboy clown inside."This barrel weighs about 175 pounds, " says Isley. "I weigh 185 and I have had a bull turn it over, stick a horn in it and turn it over with me in it. That people is entertainment at your best. "He also has a trick horse that smiles for the audience and takes a bow.The rodeo runs Thursday through Sunday. The new Mosiac Arena will be competed this fall.It will seat 7,796 people; that's 1600 more than the present arena and have much better facilities.For more information on the rodeo click here

in the spotlight,arcadia rodeo,american league,terry welles,blue jeanes,keith isley,abc7,abc news,linda carson,suncoast news

Share this article

DON'T MISS THIS STORIES