Old Spanish Trail Pro Rodeo returns to Baker arena Friday

Baker Old Spanish Trail rodeo

The All-American Cowgirl Chicks return for their third consecutive year to entertain rodeo attendees. Inset: Saddle bronc riding is a top spectator event at the Old Spanish Trail Rodeo.

BILL BARNHILL ARENA | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Friday, April 11, 2014 at 01:00 PM.

BAKER — The 25th Annual Old Spanish Trail Pro Rodeo is coming  April 11 and 12 to the Baker Recreation Association facilities off U.S. Highway 4.

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. nightly in the Bill Barnhill Arena, but be sure to arrive early if you want to be seated. Up to 3,000 people per day attended last year's rodeo. Mark Todd, Baker Area Recreation Association president, said anyone who arrived between 7 and 7:30 p.m. last year had to enjoy the rodeo standing on their feet, as all available seats were taken.

Todd said the rodeo has been moved to 7:30 to accommodate families with kids so they're not up as late. The arena is covered too, so "no matter what the weather's like, we'll have a rodeo," he said.

The Cowgirl Chicks, will be performing at the rodeo this year. "They are such an integral part of our rodeo," Todd said. "They provide a full performance," including singing the national anthem, riding and communicating with the crowd. Todd said the Cowgirl Chicks were so loved by rodeo attendees, they have been invited back for the third time in the rodeo's history. Usually, a group only performs once, and another performer is chosen next year.

The Cowgirl Chicks will also meet and greet area residents from noon to 2 p.m. April 12 at Ace Hardware, 702 N. Ferdon Drive, Crestview.

Professional Cowboy Association contestants are also back for eight rodeo events, and  stock contractor Herbert Theriot, of 5T Rodeo, oversees individual events and brings in bulls and other animals.

Rounding out the two-day event are announcer Jim Poole, and rodeo clown Rudy Burns. "He does a phenomenal job protecting the riders, and entertains the crowd as well," Todd said.

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