Rawhide Rodeo scheduled for the weekend

St. Matthew School decided to go out on a limb this year and try something new when it came time to choose a fundraiser.
Members of the school council, along with Father Joseph Orr, previously announced the Rawhide Rodeo will be coming to Central Pennsylvania this summer.
The rodeo, which will be held at the Huntingdon Fairgrounds on June 3, 4 and 5, will feature cowboys and cowgirls competing in seven International Pro Rodeo Association sanctioned contests. The International Pro Rodeo Association headquartered in Oklahoma City, sanctions more than 500 rodeos each year in almost every state.
The Rawhide Rodeo company is based in Leichester, NY and performs throughout the USA and Canada bringing high quality, high intensity performances to regional audiences. With a significant money commitment from business sponsors and St. Matthew School, both International and American Professionals have been invited to participate.
A recent press release from the school explained more about the point system used and the money earned by the participants.
“Every dollar won by contestants at an IRPA sanctioned rodeo translates into a point in the world championship standings. Therefore, the odds of current and former world champions, as well as contenders for the titles, competing at sanctioned rodeos are quite high. This generates more interest for rodeo fans. Money won at rodeos in the contestants’ home region count toward their regional finals as well. The St. Matthew School Rodeo is one of the IRPA’s Central PA rodeos.
The release also added details regarding the rules and regulations surrounding the competition.
“For contestants, the IRPA creates the policies to enforce uniform rules, which insure fairness in areas such as competition, rodeo entry, livestock draw and distribution of prize money. IRPA members are expected to follow strict rules of dress and conduct both in and out of the arena. Insurance through the Association provides members with medical coverage both during and en route to and from sanctioned rodeos.
“The Association’s rules influence the spectators’ enjoyment as well. Uniform judging methods, livestock quality standards and mandatory arena conditions for fairness and safety contribute to the fans’ appreciation of rodeo. Rules and guidelines to insure safe treatment of rodeo livestock have been established with the help of humane organizations.”
The hope of St. Matthew’s is that the rodeo will prove to be a successful fundraiser, helping to aid in the upcoming building renovations.
Plans for the building project include tearing down the house that sits between the school and the church and then connecting the school, the church and Harkins Hall.
The idea to hold the rodeo came when the school council was faced with the decision of what to do with the two million dollars it had previously received for the building project. The council was worried about where money to keep the school up and running would come from once the two million dollars was spent. Plus, another $500,000 was still needed for the building project.
Father Orr explained that right now, the school is looking at a $250,000 a year budget.
“Most Catholic churches and schools, they run on bingos and that’s not really that popular with us,” said Father Orr. “So we thought, let’s take a risk, let’s do something different, something very different.”
The school council decided to invest the $50,000 in the New York-based rodeo.
“As far as I know, we’re the only Catholic school having a rodeo,” said Todd Lewis, school council member.
For more information on the Rawhide Rodeo or to download a ticket purchase form, log onto
For tickets, call 684-3510. Tickets are also available at Reliance Bank, Ace Fix-It Hardware, Kopp Drug and Keith\’s Country and Western and Music Emporium.
Advanced tickets may be purchased at a cost of $10 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Children under three are admitted for free.