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Lawton Champie on Fire Bug Fits, 1926
Lawton Champie on Fire Bug Fits  in 1926. Champie won many events and the All-around Cowboy frequently between 1924-1944. Photo courtesy Sharlot Hall Museum

Prescott Rodeo

Hailed as the "World's Oldest Rodeo," the event celebrates the cowboy heritage of Arizona and the West. The first rodeo, held in Prescott during the Fourth of July celebration in 1888, was initially called a "Cowboy Tournament"; admission was charged to help pay for prizes and meet other expenses. Early cowboy contests were bronc riding, steer roping, and cow horse racing. Attendance at that first rodeo was probably around 2,000. Through the years, the crowds have increased dramatically until, in 1999, 20,000 - 30,000 spectators viewed eight performances. The number of contests has increased from 12 the first year of the Prescott Rodeo to over 500 today, and cowboys compete for prizes of over $177,000. Since 1913, the rodeo has been held on the Yavapai County Fairgrounds.

Over the last century, rodeo events have been added and dropped. Today's Prescott Rodeo includes eight popular events: wild horse racing, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bareback bronc riding, team roping, women's barrel racing, and Brahman bull riding. A Prescott Rodeo Queen has been selected since 1939. The year 2000 will mark the 112th anniversary of that first rodeo.

Documentation consists of thirteen pages of text and twelve black and white photographs of various sizes.

Originally submitted by: John McCain, Senator.



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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