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Roundup kicks off today

Top rodeo performers expected to compete during three-day event

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The slack portion of barrel racing will be held Friday evening following the regular Roundup performance.

Top cowboys and cowgirls from around the country are descending on Prineville as the 67th annual Crooked River Roundup gets set to begin.
   Once again this year’s roundup features some of the top rodeo performers in the country.
   “We’ve got some past world champions in the team roping and a number of NFR?performers in the other events,” said rodeo chairman Shawn Connolly.
   In addition to team roping, the steer wrestling and bull riding events are also expected to be loaded with world-class talent this year.
   With nearly 300 contestants entered, all three rodeo performances should be packed with action. Adding to the excitement the Roundup has added wild horse racing to the schedule of events for this year.
   Years ago, the wild horse races were a staple at the Roundup, but this will be the first time in years that the event has been contested. The races should be a real crowd pleaser with cowboys having to catch, saddle, and ride the wild horses across a finish line in order to win.
   Like last year, this year’s Roundup features slack performances for the timed events each morning. Friday’s slack is set to begin at 11 a.m. Then Friday evening the top performers from the morning slack will compete in reverse order of how they finished in the morning go round.
   Unlike the other timed events all slack for the barrel racing will take place Friday evening, following the conclusion of the bull riding.
   With slack performances each day, cowboys will run both their first and second go round on the same day, giving contestants the freedom to perform in other rodeos this weekend as well.
   Not only did the format work well for contestants last year, it made for exciting competition Sunday afternoon as each performer knew exactly how fast they needed to run before they came out of the chute. Adding to the excitement all slack performances are free to the public.
   This year’s specialty act is long-time rodeo performer Randee Munn. Munn, who has performed for more than 25 years, is known for his unique comedy acts.
   In addition, children’s stick horse races are once again scheduled for Sunday afternoon’s performance.
   With top cowboys, exciting specialty acts, and events like the wild horse and stick horse races, the 2012 Roundup should once again have something for everyone.
   For more information on this year’s Roundup go to www.crookedriverroundup.com.
   Roundup information
   Tickets
   Tickets are available at Fair Feed and Supply, Prineville Men’s Wear, and Book and Bean, as well as at the gate. General admission tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for children ages five-11. Children under five get in free. Box seats are available for $16.
   Schedule
   Slack performances will run each morning. Friday and Saturday slack is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday slack is set for 8 a.m. In addition barrel racing slack will continue Friday night following the first Roundup performance. All slack performances are free to the public.
   Gates open Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. with performances beginning at 7 p.m. both nights. Gates open Sunday at 1 p.m. with the rodeo set to begin at 2 p.m.
   Specialty act
   This year’s specialty act is Randee Munn. Munn, is a long-time rodeo performer who has experience as a rodeo clown, and barrel-man. Munn is known for his comedy and is expected to bring several unique acts to this year’s Roundup.
   New this year
   Wild horse races return to the roundup after an absence of several years. The wild action requires cowboys to catch, saddle, and then ride wild horses to a finish line with the first cowboy who legally crosses the line winning. Expect the action to be fast and furious during the crowd-pleasing event.