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Memories made amid mud during 72nd Oakdale Rodeo
Front bull
The bull definitely won this round; in action on Sunday afternoon, April 14 at the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds, rider Jayden Herrera of Grand View, Idaho had a grand view of the muddy arena floor, as he was thrown off the bull just out of the chute. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

In a week full of sunny skies, arrests for charity, cowgirls enjoying a multitude of luncheon opportunities, the crowning of new royalty and a weekend deluge, the 72nd annual Oakdale PRCA Rodeo, hosted by the Oakdale Saddle Club, capped off the week in style.

Competition at the rodeo grounds on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, played out with an inch of rainfall pelting the crowd and the competitors on Saturday. While it let up for Sunday, the damage was already done, with the track around the arena looking more like a lake and the arena itself ready for hosting some mud wrestling.

But competitors were there for a rodeo, competing in everything from saddle bronc riding to team roping, steer wrestling to the fan favorite bull riding.

At the end of the competition, it was Brushton Minton who took home the coveted All-Around Cowboy title.

Enjoying the chance to ride in the place of honor at the Saturday morning parade, this year’s Grand Marshals, Ed and Darla Viohl, also were happy to sit under cover in the VIP area during the weekend competition.

“Great sunshiny day yesterday, truly enjoyed it,” Ed Viohl said, chuckling about the rainy parade on Saturday and sitting through torrents of rain at the rodeo grounds. “It could have snowed and it wouldn’t have put a damper on it; it was good, I was amazed at the people that came out here in the rain. Only in Oakdale.”

Added Darla of the parade, “We had a wonderful time, the people that took us in the surrey, they were so sweet; they made every attempt to keep us warm and dry, it was a wonderful experience.”

In addition to the Cowgirl events on Wednesday, the Arrest Round Up was a success on Thursday, and there was also the festive crowning of the new 2024 Miss Rodeo Oakdale, Lillian Crummey, on Thursday night at the Oakdale Cowboy Museum.

Multiple entries made for a long and lively rodeo parade, which stepped off at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, under intermittent showers, and made its way along F Street with plenty of watchers lining the street all along the route.

“Despite the pouring rain, our Oakdale Rodeo this weekend was nothing short of spectacular,” said Oakdale Mayor and Chamber of Commerce CEO Cherilyn Bairos.

Regardless of the challenging weather, she noted, the “spirit of the rodeo prevailed, showcasing the resilience and dedication of both the participants and the audience.”

It was a jam-packed two days at the rodeo grounds, culminating the busy week of activity in the Cowboy Capital of the World.

“From thrilling bull rides to daring barrel races, every moment was filled with excitement and cheers,” Bairos said. “Rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our cowboys, cowgirls, and fans, making it a truly memorable and awesome event!”

Bubbles front
Set up in the VIP area for a bit, young Madden McLean, 5, of Oakdale does his best cowboy imitation with a six-shooter bubble gun. Despite rainy weather on Saturday and a virtual mud pit and plenty of puddles on Sunday, the crowd turned out in force for both days of the annual Oakdale Saddle Club PRCA Rodeo. Marg Jackson/The Leader
Council front
Members of the Oakdale City Council put on the rain gear and rode their float from one end of the city to the other, one of dozens of entries in the Saturday morning rodeo parade on April 13. Marg Jackson/The Leader
Cameraman front
Ready to film all the rodeo action, the cameraman is up on a platform at the edge of the track, which was turned into a lake due to weekend rainstorms. Marg Jackson/The Leader