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5/7/2012 8:03:00 AM
Saddle up for world's oldest rodeo in June

PRESCOTT - Prescott Frontier Days, Inc. is gearing up for the 125th Annual World's Oldest Rodeo this summer and is well positioned to be an official Arizona Centennial event in Prescott, Arizona. The dates for Prescott's most anticipated event of the year are June 28-July 4.

Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the World's Oldest Rodeo® (WOR) consists of both roughstock, or judged events (bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding) and timed events (steer wrestling, tie-down and team roping, and barrel racing) during each of the scheduled eight world-class performances.

Each cowboy and cowgirl competes for either the best time or the highest score to ultimately win cash prizes and buckles. In addition, there are entertainment events for the entire family.

The WOR is ranked among the top 40 best rodeos in America and traditionally attracts the top names in the sport of rodeo from all over the U.S. Not only does the WOR draw top names in rodeo, it also has consistently been Prescott's most anticipated event of the year, bringing thousands (over 30,000) spectators from all over Arizona, the U.S. and even international guests.

In 2010, the WOR received a very prestigious and deserving award from Governor Jan Brewer during the annual Governor's Tourism Conference, special recognition honoring the impact the WOR has on Arizona's tourism industry. In addition to the large crowds drawn to the WOR, Prescott Frontier Days, Inc. produces Arizona's second largest parade over the Fourth of July weekend with crowds estimated over 40,000 who jam the streets of downtown Prescott.

For the past two years, the WOR experienced record-breaking attendance that goes down as another major accomplishment for this small non-profit organization.

The extreme sport of rodeo offers a unique and modern competition unlike any other among frontier towns all over the West and becomes the most anticipated event of the year in each respective community. Although rodeo is fascinating for many, it too has many notable historical facts. Rodeo comes directly from a working lifestyle-a way of life for many-that started as the everyday chores of working ranches on the great plains of the American West and the original source of beef for the growing mining community of Prescott; chores that would eventually evolve into the unique rodeo events that many enjoy today.

The early beginnings of rodeo have been traced back to the ranches of the early 1700's when the Spanish ruled the West. Spanish cattleman, know as Vaqueros, influenced the American Cowboy with their clothing, language, traditions and equipment. Duties on the early ranches included roping, horse breaking, riding, herding, brandingan integral part of cattle-ranching in areas of Spanish influence.

The word "rodeo" comes from the Spanish word rodear (to surround). Today it's a competitive sport in which riders display their skills in activities related to livestock raising, such as riding and roping cattle and horses.

2012 Rodeo performance schedule

Thursday June 28 - 7:30 pm

Friday June 29 - 7:30 pm

Saturday June 30 - 1:30 pm

Saturday June 30 - 7:30 pm

Sunday July 1 - 7:30 pm

Monday July 2 - 7:30 pm

Tuesday July 3 - 7:30 pm

Wednesday July 4 - 1:30 pm

Other notable special events include:

Happy Hearts Rodeo for Exceptional Children - June 28 at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds

Rodeo Dance - June 28-30, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. - M&I Bank and Albertson's Parking Lot

Kiwanis Kiddie Parade-June 29 at 8 a.m. - Cortez and Goodwin

Prescott Frontier Days, Inc. Parade - June 30 at 9 a.m. - Courthouse Plaza

Rodeo Days Fine Arts & Crafts Show - June 29 - July 1 Courthouse Plaza (

Cowboy Church - July 1 at 9:30 a.m. - Prescott Rodeo Grounds

For more information, a list of the specialty acts, details about any of the listed events, recommended hotel and lodging accommodations please visit the WOR website at

Tickets are now available by phone (866-407-6336) and on the website, or at the gate. Purchasing tickets in advance is encouraged as sell outs are possible.

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