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JULY 1 – JULY 7, 2024

Memory Catcher

Cowboy Roots Run Deep at the World’s Oldest Rodeo

I grew up in southern Arizona on the Santa Lucia and the Sopori ranches in the 50’s & early 60’s. “Jefe” of the Santa Lucia was Mr. Richard Merchant. Mr. Merchant won the calf-roping championship at Madison Square Garden in 1923, in Calgary in 1927, 1928, and 1930 along with Prescott in 1926 and 1933. When growing up then we were taught respect. You never called an adult by their first name. It was always Mr. or Mrs., and “if” you won a ribbon or perhaps later on a buckle, it went on the fireplace mantel, not on your belt. Wearing a buckle you had won was considered “boasting and bragging.”

Some of my fondest memories growing up are with Mr. Merchant. In the summer he would always take me along in that old green Jeep pickup when checking windmills and other ranching chores. He would share the 2 or 3 cookies his wife had made, and sometimes I would get to eat lunch with him and Mrs. Merchant at their home. Her first name was Dorothy, and she was my 2nd grade teacher. Their living room was packed with all the awards Mr. Merchant had won competing. Of the many memories I have of Jefe, was his respect for those who worked with him on the ranch, his honesty and how humble a man he was. Other fond memories are of him helping me learn to “size-up” a horse, “throw” a rope, and “pull a calf.”

In the picture, I’m 5th from the left, leaning over the horn with my arms crossed. You can tell I was taller than the picture shows, by seeing where my left foot rests in the stirrup.
– Ron Weyenberg

More Memories:

Volunteering Legacy at the Rodeo

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Tending Bar for Decades Now

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My Journey as a Rodeo Volunteer

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A Rainy Day Still Can’t Ruin The Show

On June 29, 2022 we attended the rodeo on a very rainy day. The riders/performers all took it in stride and still gave us a wonderful show, in spite of the downpour and puddles. What made it all so magical was the rainbow and the beautiful sky! - Linda Thompson  

A Maryland Crew’s First Cowboy Experience

We had our daughter and family in town from Maryland. They all wanted to go see the rodeo as they had never seen one. We took them to the ‘Wolds Oldest Rodeo’ here in Prescott. They had a blast and even dressed up for the event. -Stephen Chase  

Memories from My Time as Rodeo Chairman (1967-1971)

I have shared before that my being the Rodeo Chairman from 1967 to 1971 has indelible memories of those times. During the Celebration of Junior Bonner in 2022 I gave many interviews regarding the struggles and ultimate success we had during my time as Chairman. I am...

The Night of Cowboy Poetry and Magic

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