Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 20, 2007

Classic rodeo returns to Clermont

CLERMONT —While central Indiana may not be synonymous with western heritage, the state’s longest-running rodeo is held right here in Hendricks County each year. On Friday and Saturday, the 57th annual Clermont Rodeo will take place at Clermont Lions Club Park.

In 1950, Clermont resident Joe Miller, and his wife Elsie, helped found the event that has become a fixture in the community. Miller still remains active on the planning committee.

“The crowd has gotten better every year,” event spokesman Ron Penn said. “It’s something fun to do with the family. It’s All-American entertainment.”

The rodeo provides non-stop action produced by the Winchester Rodeo Company that will include bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, break-away roping, and barrel racing. Winners are not only rewarded with prize money, but also have a chance to qualify for the World Rodeo League Finals that will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., in January.

“It’s really one of the last sports where if you don’t win, you don’t make any money,” Penn said. “These guys come from all over and have to pay their own expenses and entry fees.”

Adding to the entertainment value, famous rodeo clown Bob Courtney will be in the arena to help protect the bull riders. Courtney is a well-known entertainer who has performed in some of the biggest rodeos across the nation.

“I can’t say enough about Courtney. I’ve seen a lot of rodeos over the last 30 years and he is one of a kind,” Penn said. “At a smaller venue like this, we are lucky to have him coming out here. He has always been a fan and respects the tradition here.”

Nightly festivities kick off at 5:15 p.m. with a fish fry and free bluegrass music concert. For children with paid admission, a pony ride will be offered beginning at 6:15 p.m. Rodeo action begins at 7:30 p.m.

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