Rodeo coming to the Rock County 4-H Fair
IF YOU GO
What: Three Hills Rodeo at the Rock County 4-H Fair
When: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1.
Where: Grandstand, Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Cost: $11 total. That includes $5 entry fee to the fairgrounds plus $6 for a rodeo ticket.
For more information: Call (608) 755-1470 or go online to threehillsrodeo.com.
JANESVILLE Now coming out of chute No. 1: a cowboy on the back a horse that would like to launch said cowboy to the moon.
It’s not personal, it’s just what that horse was bred to do.
And we get to watch the excitement.
At 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1, Three Hills Rodeo is bringing professional rodeo to the Rock County 4-H Fair.
The event is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and will feature seven events: bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie down roping, team roping, steer wrestling and women’s barrel racing.
Three Hills breeds broncs and bulls for the rodeo circuit, and last year they had 14 horses in the PRCA nationals.
That’s saying something in the rodeo world. Horses have to be nominated to be in the national finals. There are about 90 stock contractors in the country, and only 125 horses in each category make the finals.
The rodeo is a first for the fair.
“This is something a number of people came to me about; they asked me to look into it,” said Scott Davis, fair board member. “We didn’t want to do an amateur rodeo, we wanted to do it right.”
Which raises the question: How, exactly, do you transform a grass lawn and fence-free area into a bull-proof, fenced-in, rodeo-ready area—in less than 24 hours?
Earlier this year, representatives from Three Hills gave the site a thorough review.
“We wanted to make sure it was safety first,” Davis said.
After Saturday night’s Jake Owen concert, the grassy area in front of the grandstand will be “rototilled up,” Davis said.
Except not with a rototiller, with a farm-sized piece of equipment from MacFarlane Pheasants that’s also used to make the mud volleyball courts for Labor Fest.
They’ll be creating a 4- to 6-inch layer of loose dirt intended to protect the cowboys and cowgirls and the animals.
“We’ll be reseeding it after the show,” Davis said. “We presented it at an Ag and Extension meeting, and everybody there was in favor of it.”
The chutes, the fences, the gates—all will be set up by the rodeo.
For the first time, there will be an additional charge for main stage entertainment. Gate prices will be $5 on Sunday, and tickets to the rodeo will be $6.
Davis compared the $11 price to the “$15 or $20” gate price at venues such as the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. In addition, such venues usually charge for parking.
Tickets are general admission, and Davis and his team will be setting up an “orderly” system” for people to line up near one end of the grandstand.
The exit gates will be at the other end of the grandstand.
As for the animals, they’ll be staying the night at a local farm and brought in for the show.
“What’s great about this whole thing is that it’s rain or shine,” Davis said.
Davis is palpably excited about the event.
“This event really has a wow factor,” David said. “We really want people to have a memory of this like, ‘That’s the best thing I ever saw.’”