Rodeo a big hit with central PA fans

The rodeo is an event a person must participate in to experience what it’s all about. Life in the metal oval is “almost lethal” and the contestants know all about how dangerous their sport is.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, tickets were sold, food was cooked, people enjoyed games and everyone saw several dare-devils risk their lives to earn prize money and to entertain the fans that came to watch.
Chris Prange, fourth place winner in the Bull-riding event, stated, “This was my third rodeo of the weekend. I’ve traveled as far as South Bend, IN to Maryland, and now I finished up here at the Central PA Rodeo because the prize money was such an important factor.”
Saint Matthew School was the primary reason the rodeo took place. They benefited greatly from the show and were able to pull in as many as 6,500 fans in the three-day showing.
Fr. Orr stated, “This year was our highest attendance yet. I don’t think we could have put anyone else in the stands on Saturday because it was so packed with contestants, vendors and families of the riders. The great part of this rodeo is that a family of five can come to this event and will still be cheaper than a tank of gas. It’s not just a small rodeo side show, it’s the real thing with real professionals. These men and women are in the Professional Bull-riding and risk everything out here for a great show and good prize money.”
The show lasted about three hours, filled with exciting events. An early scare for the crowd occurred in the second Bareback ride of the night as a rider was strapped in and carried around the arena like a rag doll. Luckily he was able to maintain his feet to stabilize himself, but his life was definitely in God’s hands at that point.
There were seven events held during this three-day event, including: bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and barrel racing. Each event was exciting and if a person sat in first place for the day, they would win the prize money because it was the last show.
This show really brought the crowds full attention in whenever they got to the last event, bull-riding. A scary event, yes, but an even more exciting event that people love to witness as the riders take their lives into their own hands as bulls are known to fight back.
Prange stated, “I started bull-riding when I was 20-years-old. I really didn’t know much about the sport, but once I started riding I loved it. This was my first trip to Huntingdon, but I’m sure I’ll be back next year since the prize money was so good. It’s real important for people to sponsor these events because without them, we can’t have this event. We don’t make money unless we win, and all expenses are ours such as gas, entry fee and food. People get hurt, but I guess I’m just addicted to adrenaline rushes.”
Prange was able to hold on for at least 10 seconds on the biggest bull in the pen. It was a clean ride and had a few bucks, giving him a 76 point tally which was enough for some money.
There was a final scare to the evening when a bull-rider found himself caught in the rope. The bull stomped him a few times, leaving him without his pants on. This was very scary, but he had a laugh with his fellow riders as he managed to walk off the life-threatening ride.
Saint Matthew’s Todd Lewis stated, “An event like this is a tremendous amount of work, but a lot of satisfaction comes out when you see all the families and businesses working together. I would like to give a special thanks to all of those who helped make this event possible.”
For kids and families who enjoyed the rodeo, there was a mechanical bull and bungee ride on the side which Chester Behrens brought for some extra entertainment. Several people were able to video themselves getting bucked on a mechanical bull and tested their strength to stay on for an entire session.
Dave Panasiti stopped by to say, “This is really good for our area, which is an important reason why I volunteer. It’s also good for St. Matthews, which Tyrone is very fortunate to have a Catholic school stay alive in their town. For the rodeo, a lot of the big boys come in on the last day because the prize money is awarded this day. Those who come out on first two days have to wait, so every day of the show, we get a lot of great riders and amazing competition.”
The fourth annual rodeo came to an end after seven amazing events that had everyone on the edge of their seats. The event was a hit and people were entertained.
“Next year we plan to have a bigger, better show and turnout for a crowd,” Panasiti stated. “This year was the largest crowd yet and I hope that this brings the people to realize what an amazing event this really is. The people of St. Matthews were really impressed with the turnout and God looked down on us as he kept the rain away for the entire weekend.”