The Little Delbert Days and Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo met with high turnouts and galloping festivity before coming to a close on Sunday.
Organizers reported a successful event, which brought children and adults from Havasu and throughout the Southwest to watch the competitions, and to engage the rides and attractions that the rodeo offered.
Taking center stage this year was Northern Arizona University student Ashley Judd, who won this year’s title of Rodeo Queen in a Sunday afternoon ceremony. Judd is a volunteer at Kingman’s Healing Hooves organization, and works part-time with children at a daycare facility.
Judd led the procession of pageant contestants and other riders at Sunday’s rodeo, carrying the American flag aloft on a circuit throughout the arena to open the day’s riding competitions.
“We had a great response, and a great turnout,” said pageant coordinator Laura Ravesloot. “We’re really proud of the Rodeo Queen contestants. They’ve all had really good camaraderie with each other. I wish they could all be crowned Queen.”
Fellow coordinator DeeDee Archie observed large crowds not only for the Rodeo Queen pageant, but for the events themselves. “It flowed really nicely,” she said. “We had packed seats throughout the weekend – it seems like every year, this event gets bigger.”
The rodeo featured hundreds of bull, steer, calves, horses and sheep, who traveled from Utah to challenge cowboys and cowgirls in tests of wrangling skill for the delight of a cheering crowd. The Little Delbert Days festivities beyond the rodeo provided kids with the opportunity to ride mechanical bulls, ponies, a petting zoo, as well as events like bungee jumping and wall-climbing, all free to children under 15.
“It went really good,” said Rodeo director Joe Archie. “Saturday went very well. We had a lot of contestants, and a lot of rides. We’ve had riders from throughout Texas, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Any of these riding events take a lot of nerve.”
While exact attendance numbers were unavailable on Sunday, Archie estimates that about 3,000-4,000 people came to the rodeo on Saturday, and he expected to have nearly every seat filled on Sunday, as well.