Bullennium 2000' marks debut of new rodeo facility By by M. Jill Karolevitz The event has moved and its name reflects the year 2000 � but this year's Bull-a-rama still guarantees action and entertainment as the Coyote Country Rodeo Club hosts the event Sept. 9-10.
In recognition of the new millennium, the seventh annual Bull-a-rama has been dubbed "Bullennium 2000," and will be held at the Clay County Rodeo Grounds, two miles west of Vermillion on Timber Road. Coyote Country Rodeo Club members have been working hard since last winter to prepare the arena and grounds, according to Andy Howe, treasurer of the club.
"We've invested about $3,000 of our own money, along with what the Clay County Park Association spent to purchase the arena," Howe said. "That means there's been more than $10,000 invested to improve the rodeo grounds, not to mention volunteer and donated material and labor.
"We're happy to have the work done," he continued. "We're ready to go."
A lot of enthusiasm has been shown by sponsors and Bull-a-rama fans as the new rodeo facility is prepared for its debut event.
"It's been eagerly anticipated," Howe said. "Our sponsors and the people we've talked to who plan to attend the Bull-a-rama are looking forward to having the event in the new location."
Bull riding begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring 20 riders who will compete for a $1,000 added purse (all entry fees, plus $1,000 are divided among the placings). Stock will be provided by McKay Rodeo Co., of O'Neill, NE.
"They always bring a good mix of bulls," Howe said. "They're good, but we'll see some qualifying rides."
Rusty Fritz and Craig Wilson are the returning bull fighters and Tim Schinzel of Nebraska will be the barrelman, helping out the cowboys and bull fighters, as well as providing entertainment for the crowd. East River Cowboys will again provide live "chute-out" music during the Bull-a-rama.
As the cowboys compete for cash prizes, several other events will be offered to amateur riders. Buckles will be awarded to the top riders in the Businessman's Bull Riding Contest, Teener Bull Riding for contestants 13-17 and Calf Riding for Kids for riders age 9-12. Youngsters, age 5-8 also have the chance to win a buckle and ribbons in the annual Mutton Bustin' contest. Bill O'Connor will provide the "buckin' sheep" for the event.
Admission for Saturday's Bullennium 2000 is $8 for adults at the gate ($6 in advance), $6 at the gate for senior citizens and $4 for children 7-12 at the gate. Children under 6 are admitted free. Advance tickets are available at Jones' Food Store, Hy-Vee and Pump N Pak. A Bullennium 2000 dance, featuring music by East River Cowboys, will begin at 9 p.m. at the Eagles Club in Vermillion. Admission will be charged at the door.
Rodeo action continues on Sunday, Sept. 10, with a jackpot team roping event, also at the Clay County Rodeo Grounds. Registration is at 11 a.m. Admission is free.
"We would like to see a lot of usage of the rodeo facilities," Howe said. "This jackpot is just the beginning. Anyone who wants to book an event is welcome to contact one of our members."
Concessions will be available on the grounds both days.