Helldorado Days are here. First begun in 1934 as a celebration of Las Vegas’ western heritage, Helldorado Days features a professional rodeo and a parade through Downtown coming this weekend, May 13-15, 2011. Organized by the Las Vegas Elks Lodge #1468, the entire event benefits local organizations for kids and the Elks Scholarship Fund.
The festivities begin Thursday night, May 12 with Locals’ Night. On Friday, the professional rodeo kicks off with some of the best contestants of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys’ Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association (WPRA) barrel racers. Pro rodeo performances begin Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 9 PM, and Sunday at 7 PM.
The prize money offered here has attracted 9 World Champions and close to 50 former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers. Thrown together with some of Nevada’s best cowboys, 21 to be exact, Helldorado Days should provide three performances of great rodeo action.
On Friday, the rough stock events are packed with big names. Leading the way are three World Champion saddle bronc riders, Jesse Kruse, Chad Ferley, and Jeffrey Willert, along with World Champion bull rider Wesley Silcox. 2010 Reserve World titlist in the saddle bronc, Wade Sundell, will also be on hand.
In the bareback riding, WNFR qualifiers Cody Demers, Joe Gunderson, Royce Ford, Wes Stevenson, and Chris Harris will take their rides for a Helldorado championship.
Locals will watch former UNLV standout and WNFR qualifier Colin McTaggart in the bull riding along with current UNLV student, Josh Daries, who just won his third West Coast Regional championship and is headed to the College National Finals Rodeo next month.
Former NFR qualifier Matt Shiozawa will highlight Friday’s timed events, competing in both the tie down roping, his signature event, and the team roping with Logandale cowboy Nels Bowen.
Saturday Night Live at Helldorad features the Wright Brothers in the saddle bronc riding: Cody, Jake, Jesse, and Alex. Cody is a two-time World Champion and is leading the way in the current world standings as well. Jesse made a splash at last year’s WNFR and is hoping for a return trip in 2011. Along with the Wrights, Saturday’s performance has WNFR qualifiers Cort Scheer–who won the lucrative RodeoHouston this winter–Rusty Allen and Dustin Flundra.
The bull riding features a pair of WNFR qualifiers in Howdy Cloud and Seth Glause. In the bareback riding, Justin McDaniel, DV Fennell, and Jessy Davis will ride.
In the timed events, look for Clark County locals, Jay and Randon Adams in the team roping. Randon is a World Champion heeler. They call Logandale home.
Nate Baldwin and Joseph Parsons highlight the tie down roping on Saturday. Both have made trips to rodeo’s Super Bowl, Parsons just last season.
In the WPRA barrel racing, WNFR qualifiers Sheena Robbins and Benette Barrington will take their trips around the cloverleaf pattern on Saturday along with outstanding rookie Lee Ann Rust who is ranked thirteenth in the current world standings in her first year of competition.
Sunday night begins with two World Champs in the bareback riding including reigning champion Bobby Mote of Oregon. Three time champ Will Lowe and WNFR qualifiers Steven Peebles, Jason Havens, Clint Cannon, and Tom McFarland wound out the bareback riding.
In the broncs, WNFR qualifiers Bradley Harter, Sam Spreadborough, Isaac Diaz, and Bobby Griswold will ride. Myron Duarte, Clayton Foltyn, Tyler Smith, and Ardie Maier will join world number one Shane Proctor in the bull riding.
Highlighting the Sunday timed events is Luke Branquinho, a two-time world champion steer wrestler. The Adams boys will be back for round two in the team roping. In the WPRA barrel racing, former WNFR qualifiers Linda Vick, Barbara Merrill, Jolee Lautaret, Rachel Myllymaki and Christina Richman will race for Helldorado dollars.