July 25, 2021

BACK IN THE SADDLE: Jasper County Fair riding high with rodeo entertainment

Bucking broncos, barrel racing and mutton bustin’ attract large crowd to fair arena

The crowd cheered when the cowboys were thrown off the backs of bucking broncos. The crowd cheered again when the cowgirls raced horses around barrels in record time. And the crowd cheered even harder for the 25 junior buckaroos brave enough to give mutton bustin’ a try.

Rodeo night at the Jasper County Fair was full of energy and emotion.

Spectators were filing into the arena in droves. In no time the bleachers were full, which meant the on-footers were forced to watch the action up close from behind the arena gates. They could feel the ground rumble beneath their feet when a bronc got loose, kicking dirt onto spectators’ ankles as they dodged cowhands.

Typically, the Jasper County Fair Rodeo and Ty Carlson Memorial Bull Ride is held a month before the fair as a sort of kickoff event or “pre-fair promotion,” longtime fair contributor Mike Guy said. Even with the change of date, the rodeo provided “traditional county fair entertainment” to the masses.

“This is the first year they’ve done it during fair,” Mike Guy said. “We’ve had really good crowds in the past. And we’ve got a really good crowd tonight.”

Alan Guy, a fair board member and organizer of the Jasper County Fair Rodeo and Ty Carlson Memorial Bull Ride, told Newton News in a previous interview that volunteers wanted more entertainment options for fair visitors. Judging by the long lines to get into the arena, the rodeo certainly did just that.

“If it works, we get to do it again,” Alan Guy said. “That’s the coolest part about it. It’s a really good time and can be pretty wholesome. Rodeo is one of the super entertaining sports that you kind of have to see to experience it. No better way than to do it right down the road here in Colfax.”

Paired alongside the exciting rodeo action was the equally important moments of recognition for the departed Ty Carlson, whose untimely death at the age 19 spurred the establishment of the eponymous bull ride. The young Colfax cowboy had an affinity and a passion for bull riding.

Carlson’s rider-less horse remained saddled in the arena at the start of the rodeo. The announcer said the horse’s name is Doc, described as a trusted friend of Carlson. Audiences gathered tonight to remember the young man, who now has a scholarship in his name.

“We gather here tonight to remember him and to keep his name forever in the sport of rodeo in Jasper County and in our hearts and minds,” the announcer said. “Doc still misses his friend but he, too, helps us to keep Ty’s name alive.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.