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Creston rodeo sees increase in participants 

Creston rodeo

A child rides a sheep in Mutton Bustin’, where young children under 60 pounds compete to see who can ride the sheep the longest, similar in concept to bull riding. Photo by Tim Wagner Photography.

19th Ever Creston Classic Rodeo showcases Hide Race this year

Creston Classic Rodeo

Creston Class Rodeo’s 2014 queen, Haley Simonin, takes a lap between events. Photo by Tim Wagner Photography

The 19th Ever Creston Classic Rodeo, held over the weekend of Sept. 12 to 14, was another successful rodeo, according to Creston Classic Rodeo Board President Jeff Rigby. All proceeds from the annual rodeo will go to the Creston Community Center, set to open in the near future.

While participation was high, attendance this year was lower than in years past,  Rigby said. He attributed this to the heat, with weekend temperatures exceeding 100 degrees each day. The number of participants, however, exceeded past years; there were more than 300 participants and about 570 entries. The majority of the participants were locals, though Rigby said that people traveled from Monterey and Santa Barbara counties and the Central Valley.

A new event this year was the Hide Race that had one rider on a horse with a rope wrapped around the saddle horn and the other end connected to a piece of carpet, on which a second rider sits. The object of the event is for the rider to stay on the carpet while the horse — pulling the carpet — runs as quickly as possible from one end of the arena and back during the timed event.

While the rodeo is typically held around the beginning of September, it will be up to next year’s board to set the date and decide which events will be held. The board will be elected in December and seated in January 2015.

“[The highlight of the rodeo is seeing] lots of cowboys and cowgirls competing — it’s a lot of fun,” Rigby said, adding the comradery is really the highlight for him.

Creston Classic Rodeo Hide Race

Riders compete in Creston Classic Rodeo’s newest event, Hide Race. Photo by Tim Wagner Photography

Haley Simonin, a 16-year-old student at Templeton High School, was named the rodeo’s 2014 queen. Simonin is heavily involved in Templeton FFA and is the chapter’s 2014-15 vice president. Last year she was named Templeton FFA Star Chapter Farmer and received several awards and scholarships with her supervised agriculture experience. She also worked at Happy Acres Family Farm as a farm tour guide.

Kiah Williams was named the rodeo’s junior queen. Williams is a 15-year-old Paso Robles High School student. She said she grew up dreaming up of having horse, which became a reality when she began taking lessons at the age of 9. At 12 she got her first horse and started riding with the Atascadero Wranglerettes.

Complete results of the weekend’s events are available at www.crestonclassicrodeo.org.

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