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Oakdale’s Cody Russell was riding Diamond Dust in the bull riding competition Sunday, April 10 at the annual PRCA Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

In a sunshine-soaked yet dusty, windswept arena, there were plenty of cowboys and cowgirls battling it out for the buckles and prize money over the weekend. The Oakdale Saddle Club hosted its 70th annual rodeo, bringing competitors and huge crowds to town. The weeklong observance also included coronation of a new Rodeo Queen - Katie Serpa of Oakdale - the festive downtown parade on Saturday morning, the Cowgirl Luncheon earlier in the week and Cowboy Church on Sunday, following the Saturday night dance at the grounds. Huge crowds filled the grandstands each day of the PRCA rodeo action, with Grand Entry and a Coast Guard flyover setting the stage for the many events to follow.

Enjoying a chance to get an up close look at all the roping, riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing was the 2022 Oakdale Rodeo Parade Grand Marshal, Steve Medlen, with a front row seat on Saturday, April 9 in the VIP box. Marg Jackson/The Leader
A new event in the arena this year for the Oakdale Rodeo was women’s breakaway roping, with this competitor getting ready to rope the calf in hopes of earning a score. Sarah Lawson/The Leader