The Roughstock Rodeo Hell on Hooves is free with fair admission Thursday night.
POLK COUNTY — It’s been more than 15 years in the making, but it’s finally happening: the rodeo is returning to the Polk County Fair.
The Hell on Hooves Roughstock Rodeo will hit the fairgrounds Thursday at 7 p.m.
“Wayne White from Wild West Events has been bugging us to put on a rodeo for a long time,” Fair Manager Tina Andersen said. “But we just couldn’t afford it in the past.”
That all changed in 2015, when White sponsored about $8,000 to help make the rodeo a reality.
“I got together with the fair board and we talked about it,” White said. “I told them we would come in and help them and put on a rodeo to help increase attendance. We haven’t had a real rodeo here in forever.”
The rodeo promises to be one of the fair’s highlights with bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing and mutton bustin’.
“Instead of roping events, we have bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding,” White said. “We added barrel racing because everyone likes barrel racing.”
The rodeo is for one night only, so don’t miss your chance to see the cowboys competing, though Andersen hopes this leads to a bigger rodeo in future years.
“It depends on the cowboys,” Andersen said. “The reason we have it on Thursday night is because it’s hard to get on that (rodeo circuit).”
It’s been more than a decade and a half since the rodeo last came to the Polk County Fair.
But this year’s fair hopes that the triumphant return of the rodeo will lead to smiles and fun for people of all ages.
“Historically, the first day of the fair is the weakest day,” Andersen said. “We’re trying to increase attendance there.
“People should come and watch and see what this is all about. It’s fast paced and has nonstop action the whole time.”
Rough and ready
What: Hell on Hooves Roughstock Rodeo.
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Cost: Free with paid fair admission.
Of note: The rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing and mutton bustin’.