Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo set for first weekend of May
There's a certain pride that roams around the Oklahoma Panhandle, a connection to the land and the personalities.
It's a texture, like the rugged terrain that encompasses the landscape, and it revolves around the Western lifestyle. Cowboys know what it takes to survive in this climate, and they are ready to do what it takes to get the job done. That's why seeing the Panhandle's brightest stars on ProRodeo's grandest stage is so important to the communities across the three counties once known as No Man's Land.
"You've got a lot of good people around here, and it's an honor to represent them when we rodeo," said saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Guymon.
Scheer lists Elsmere, Neb., as his home, but he lives in Guymon, an alumnus of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team. He was one of four cowboys who competed at the 2012 NFR with ties to Panhandle State, joining fellow bronc riders Cody Taton and two-time world champion Taos Muncy and bull rider Seth Glause.
They all plan to return to their old stomping grounds the first weekend of May for the annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, with performances set for 7:30 p.m., May 3; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., May 4; and 2 p.m., May 5.
Competition begins April 29, with non-performance competition known as slack, which begins at 8 a.m. daily and lasts through May 3. Steer roping will take place Monday-Tuesday; team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping will be Wednesday-Thursday; and barrel racing takes place Friday.
Through the seven days of competition, hundreds of rodeo contestants will converge on Texas County, including the very best in the world. Guymon is must-see destination in ProRodeo, whether it's 17-time world champion Trevor Brazile or many of the other gold buckle-wearing cowboys and cowgirls who make their livings on the rodeo trail.
"I think I had a shot last year to win the Guymon ProRodeo," Scheer said. "It felt good, and I ended up winning third. I'd love to win that rodeo.
"I really want that belt they give to the winners."
So do the others who will be in the mix for the 2013 championship, and a good percentage of them have ties to Texas County.
"To us, all these cowboys and cowgirls are still part of the Panhandle, and we're very proud of them," said Earl Helm, chairman of the Pioneer Days Rodeo committee. "We're still part of them. We want them to still feel at home when they come back here.
"When they ride at the NFR, we're very proud of them. We feel like we're with them there, too."
The contestants feel that support no matter where they ride.
"Just sitting around all those great people makes you want to ride better," Scheer said. "They taught me everything I know, and I think the best way I can say thank you is to win."