The Wichita County Mounted Patrol is holding its 53rd year of tradition filled with activities, competition and history at the Red River Rodeo on Friday and Saturday. The Lucky Horseshoe Business is at the event for the first time with their custom hats, competitors focused and determined to win, and the president says they are welcoming everyone to continue this significant tradition for Texoma.
When asked what a person sitting on the bleachers would see in the event, the Wichita County Mounted Patrol President Roger Vassar said, "You would see a lot of action, you would see a lot of cowboys ride through events real well. You will see some that are not as successful; maybe have wrecks, hit the dirt." Competitors drove hours to come to this show. Team Rope Competitor Lucas Screws says, "I'm from Clovis, New Mexico. It's about a seven hour drive from here. And I team rope. And to get ready, I practice whenever I'm home." Red River Rodeo Judge Todd Byrd says, "Been judging rodeos since 1982. And I look for the quality of the riding. How well they're set up as far as the animal, or compete on it. Keep control of what they're doing."
The president says the importance of the rodeo is "It's Wichita County history. 53-years-old for the county, and we want to keep it that way for the coming future." Businesses are also coming out to this rodeo. Local business Lucky Horseshoe Hat Company Owner Ron Allen says, "We're a local company here in town. And we chose Red River Rodeo; its been going on for 53 years. Expecting a lot of competitors."
President Roger Vassar says he would like to see more people and sponsors to improve the rodeo and facilities every year. And he would also like to reach out to more Hispanics. "We'd like to reach out to our Hispanic neighbors in our community, we seem to always miss those folks. And we always have a few come out to the rodeo, but we never have as many as we'd like to see. And we want to give them a personal invitation."
President Vassar says Wichita Falls is in the dividing line between both cowboy groups: United Professional Rodeo Association representing the East side of Texas, and Texas Rodeo Cowboys Association representing the West side of Texas. Vassar says he hopes the tradition will continue and expand in the coming years.
He says the Wichita County Mounted Patrol is a nonprofit agency and that any profits they make from this rodeo can be distributed back into nonprofit agencies within the community including Hospice, Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Disabled Veterans group whom they've made donations to in previous years.