By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
One of the big draws for tourists to Wyoming each summer is the region’s wild west history – and nothing says the wild west like rodeo.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association this month announced the nominees for the nation’s top awards in rodeoing – and Marc Thompson, co-president of the Cody Stampede Board, said the Cody Stampede Rodeo and several cowboys who got their start in Cody have been nominated for national awards.
“Frontier Rodeo is (nominated for) stock contractor of the year; all three of our bullfighters are nominated, including (Cody’s) own Dusty Tuckness; Justin Rumford, he is up for clown of the year; Haley Proctor; Amanda Sanders, secretary; so, those are all people who were part of our team this year.”
Matt Tarr is a rodeo clown who for the first time has been nominated for best comedy act of the year. A Cody native, Tarr said he spent his summers at the Cody Nite Rodeo.
“I grew up watching my granddad and grandma, they were the medics at the Nite Rodeo when we were little bitty kids,” he recalls. “They took us all the time, and we grew up watching the Stampede. I just grew up wanting to do it.”
Thompson noted that despite the public health regulations that restricted – and in some cases, even canceled – rodeo events across the country, including Cheyenne Frontier Days and four other major rodeos in Wyoming, the Cody Stampede went on as planned – which qualified it to be nominated for the best large outdoor rodeo of the year.
“We followed safety procedures and protocols under the guidance of the health officers to make sure that we could do it safely,” Thompson said. “Fortunately, everything went off without any problems, there weren’t any COVID-related transmissions associated with the rodeo all summer long.”
And the Cody Stampede board of directors is proud of the fact that the event has been nominated for this particular award in the past – and won.
“We’ve been nominated before – in fact, we won that award back to back in 1998 and 99,” said Thompson.
The winners of this year’s awards will be announced Dec. 2 at the PRCA annual conference, which this year will be held in Fort Worth, Texas.