WCEL Lincoln Rodeo 2018

WCELRodeo2018

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wednesday, August 8, 2018 B Lincoln Rodeo 2018 By Mark Humphrey ENTERPRISE-LEADER LINCOLN — Rodeo fans and partic- ipants eagerly anticipating the 65th annual Lincoln rodeo had to take a rain check when a wet spring forced the event to be rescheduled. The rodeo was set back three months with about a week to go before the originally-scheduled dates of May 17-19. "We really didn't have a choice," said Lincoln Riding Club Secretary/ Reporter Marlana Edgmon. Rainfall turned the parking area into a swamp. LRC members knew they would not be able to park spectators let alone contestants pulling heavy horse trailers laden with stock. Advance tickets had already been sold, many by compet- itors in the LRC royalty pageant to meet participation requirements. To address this logistical chal- lenge and accommodate rodeo fans, who had purchased tickets, Lincoln Riding Club selected new dates and rescheduled the rodeo for Aug. 9-11, 2018. LRC issued a release on its website in May assuring fans that advance tickets sold with May dates on them will be honored. Among performers slated to appear were the Reg ulators, Lincoln Riding Club's precision drill team which performs on horseback. According to Edgmon, the Regulators were formed in 2013. Noting the Regulators take pride in having difficult and fast-paced routines that keep the crowd on their toes. Edgmon, who is part of the group, explained the Regulators had to sort of reset their internal clocks and keep an eye on the big picture. The Regulators redirected their energy and maintained a positive outlook. Speaking for LRC, Edgmon said club members, including the Regulators focused on being excited that instead of being canceled, the rodeo was moved back to August with hope for a much larger turnout from both spectators and contestants. Edgmon affirmed diligence of LRC's work behind-the-scenes, saying, "Our board has worked very hard to make this the best rodeo so far." Still, 2018 marked the second consecutive year dates for the Lincoln Rodeo shifted. For several years the rodeo was held the first or second week of June, but in recent years those dates conflicted with other rodeos in which club members wanted to participate so a change was made to May. Then came the rains and another switch to Aug. 9-11. According to longtime LRC member, Louie Guess, 85, of Lincoln, who founded the inaugu- ral street dance associated with the rodeo in 1967, moving the rodeo to August is taking things back to the way they used to be. "They're going back to the old time," Guess said. "That's the way it used to be in August. They've prob- ably had eight to 10 Lincoln Riding Club rodeos in August." As dates for the rodeo once again draw near, anticipation is building among the Regulators. "We are so excited our home rodeo is almost here since we had to postpone our rodeo til August this year," Edgmon said. "We have performed in rodeos in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We repre- sent the Lincoln Riding Club wher- ever we go with pride." Among this year's performances, 2017 LRC junior queen Alexis Arnold will sing the National Anthem during the 65th annual Lincoln Rodeo on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. COVER PHOTO BY MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Bull fighter Myles Essick, of Highlandville, Mo., doubling as a rodeo clown; gives chase as a young cowboy competes in Mutton Busting during the 64th annual Lincoln Rodeo in this 2017 photo. The 2018 Lincoln Rodeo is co-sanctioned by the ACRA and IPRA. Cash That Rain Check WELCOME TO THE 65TH ANNUAL LINCOLN RIDING CLUB RODEO LINCOLN — Each time Justin Blisard puts on a rodeo the 2018 Lincoln Rodeo stock contractor pauses to remember one of the men who gave every- thing to preserve American liberties. B l i sa rd 's u n c l e, Rex Wayne Blisard, U.S. Army Specialist, died in Vietnam before reaching his 18th birthday. Rex Blisard was born July 15, 1949, and died Jan. 9, 1967. According to information from the Viet- nam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS) Extract Files posted online that year (1969) was the third deadliest year of the Vietnam War with Rex Blis- ard accounted for among 11,780 American casualties. The highest number of deaths, 48,717, occurred among enlisted men (pay grades E1 – E9), of which Rex Blisard attained E4 status. The Army sustained the most casualties of any service branch, numbering 38,224 of the total 58,220. He was among 592 Arkan- sans giving their lives in the line of duty. Statistics show 1,201 Americans declared d e a d a n d a n o t h e r 9 1 presumed dead with body remains not recovered. Of those with remains recov- ered there are 32 listed as "presumed dead." L i ke h i s Un c l e Rex , Justin Blisard was born and raised in between Siloam Springs and Lincoln in the Cincinnati area. Justin Blis- ard formed Blisard Rodeo Company in 2009. The company is an American Cowboys Rodeo Associa- tion (ACRA) and Cowboys Regional Rodeo Associa- tion (CRRA) certified stock contractor. Blisard returns to Lincoln after a one-year hiatus, having provided stock for the event in 2015 and 2016. During the grand entry, Justin Blisard will display the United States flag that was draped over Rex Blis- ard's casket when he was buried with military honors 49 years ago. Justin Blisard honors the American heri- tage recognizing a personal connection to the price of freedom, something he is not willing to take for granted. The price is too high. A s a s to c k co n t ra c - tor, Justin Blisard knows full well the importance of drawing people to the event. Rodeo succeeds because diverse groups of people choose to support the endeavor and associate Mark Humphrey Game Journal CALENDAR OF RODEO EVENTS Wednesday, Aug. 8 7 p.m. - Lil' Mister and Lil' Miss Contest on Lincoln Square 8 - 11 p.m. - Street dance on Lincoln Square Thursday, Aug. 9 7:30 p.m. - Stick horse Grand Entry at LRC Arena 8 p.m. - Rodeo performance at LRC Arena Friday, Aug. 10 7:30 p.m. - Stick horse Grand Entry at LRC Arena 8 p.m. - Rodeo performance at LRC Arena Saturday, Aug. 11 3 p.m. - Rodeo parade lineup at LRC Arena 4:30 p.m. - 65th annual Lincoln Rodeo parade 7:30 p.m. - Stick horse Grand Entry at LRC Arena 8 p.m. - Rodeo performance at LRC Arena SEE HUMPHREY PAGE 6B

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