Great Bend Expo III arena will be filled with rodeo family fun in mid-October, all with no admission fee. The public can enjoy children’s activities, face painting, Randy the Clown, concessions and three performances of drill-teams on horseback. It happens during the 9th Annual Rosewood Rodeo Oct. 12 at the Great Bend Expo III Arena, two miles west of 10th and Patton.
The rodeo grand entry is scheduled for 10 a.m. Four therapeutic rodeo events will be held for Rosewood Services riders, followed by an award ceremony at approximately 4 p.m.
In between those events, a past performer at the rodeo is back by popular demand. The all-female Heartland Twisters will perform at 10:15 a.m. and again around 3:45 p.m. The riding team, from Chanute, will perform a three-minute American Tribute during the morning, followed by a three-minute speed precision performance in the afternoon.
Making its debut, the Rosewood Drill Team, comprised of six Rosewood riders, will perform to a medley of songs in an 11-minute routine, at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The public can stay for any or all events. Concessions are available during the rodeo. And for $5 each, people can stay for a barbeque dinner at 5 p.m., catered by Famous Hammond Brothers BBQ.
A silent auction will be held with proceeds going to Rosewood’s non-profit Roots & Wings Foundation. The foundation provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities to people in need who have developmental disabilities.
The annual rodeo is one of the grandest days of the year for approximately 40 equine-therapy riders from Rosewood Services who practice their riding skills at Rosewood Ranch on a weekly basis throughout the year. The ranch is a full-working horse ranch near Pawnee Rock where people with developmental disabilities learn to ride and care for approximately 50 horses.
Though some of the riders compete in horse shows during the summer months, Rosewood Ranch manager Eric Hammond said the rodeo is special because it features most all of the adult riders and it allows them to compete and perform at home in front of their families and friends.
“The rodeo is the one day when our riders get to show off in front of the home crowd,” said Hammond. “They take pride in their accomplishments and it’s very heart-warming to be a part of that experience. It’s one of the busiest and best days of the year for all of us at Rosewood.”
Hammond acknowledged the support the annual Rodeo receives throughout the community. There are dozens of volunteers who help with the rodeo every year and there are 15 sponsors for this year’s event.