Corn Palace’s first rodeo event deemed a successThe squeak of shoes against the hardwood was traded for the pounding of hooves against dirt Friday night as the Corn Palace hosted its first ever bull-riding competition.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
The squeak of shoes against the hardwood was traded for the pounding of hooves against dirt Friday night as the Corn Palace hosted its first ever bull-riding competition.
The Wilbur Ellis Corn Palace Challenge is a Championship Bull Riding (CBR) Horizon Series contest that brought 975 people out to watch the action. Capacity for the event is 2,150. Mitchell Corn Palace director Mark Schilling said he expects tonight’s crowd to be better.
The event continues today at 7:30 p.m. with tickets still available at the Corn Palace box office. Seats are $20 or $30 for padded seats. Tables are sold out.
Jared Stork, of Forrest, Ill., was watching the action with this wife, Jenna, and daughter, Taylor, Friday night. They were visiting relatives in the area and decided to take in the rodeo event.
“It’s really sweet, this is a great place to have it” Jared said, noting he watches bull riding on TV often but never has seen it in person.
“It’s really exciting to be right here and see the action up close.”
Dust and dirt were flung through the air as spectators were treated to more than 40 rides Friday.
The riders are vying for more than $14,000 in prize money and have come from across the country to compete. Austin Martin, of Mexico, Mo., had the strongest showing of the night with a score of 175 combined in the championship and preliminary rounds.
The highest scoring South Dakota rider was Shawn Coleman, of Springfield. To make the indoor bull riding event possible, crews started work Wednesday by covering the hardwood floor with protective materials before bringing in the dirt which makes up the ring. Layers of plastic and plywood create the base of the arena, as metal gates which stand 6 feet high encompass the outside for protection.
The emcee for both nights is CBR president and rodeo celebrity Tuff Hedeman.