Carney, Mich. (WZMQ) – Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the United States gathered in Menominee County this past weekend to showcase their Western skills and participate in rodeo events at the Carney Roundup Rodeo. The rodeo, which has been going on for fifteen years, is growing every year and brings in participants from states such as Oklahoma, and Texas. The event opened with a prayer, and a drill team that loves its country, according to Joe Hudson, the Carney Roundup Rodeo President.
“We have the Rodeo City Riders, it’s probably the biggest hit, because it’s very patriotic,” shared Hudson. The rodeo has even seen three world champion bull riders in the past. However, it’s not just seasoned cowboys who participate in the event. Local kids like Mason Peltin, a 15-year-old Gladstone student, also test their limits.
Peltin, who has experience coming out of the chute on a bull, tried chaps for the first time as a new strategy for success. “I didn’t get a bad bull today, but I lost my grip, and I kinda hit the ground hard. Landed on my head, but it is what it is. I was kind of frustrated, I don’t know if you guys saw it or not, but I got up, took off the helmet, and was not very happy,” he reflected. “The chaps did help a little bit, I didn’t lose my footing as much, but overall today was a fun day…” added Peltin..
Bull riding is known to be one of the most dangerous sports, and Mason Peltin, an amateur bull rider, warns against trying it at home. “My personal opinion, don’t try bull riding. It’s not fun, It hurts. And you’ll get injured,” Peltin warned. “Nobody got injured today thankfully, but in the past when I first came to rodeo, I watched a guy break all ribs on one side because a bull reared up, he bucked off and got slammed,” informed Peltin.
According to Peltin, it’s a sport that takes hard work and dedication, and there’s a lot of work that goes into being involved with rodeo events. “I asked one of the ladies who runs this thing, the same person who does entry fees and that, if she needed a hand, she asked me to help out with barrels, so I was out there rakin’, re-settin ‘em. But overall it’s a whole team-playing aspect, you can’t just do it for yourself,” Peltin remarked.
Peltin isn’t the only amateur getting involved. Saturday’s amateur bull riding daredevils were Madison Johnson, Cole Lowney, Ryan Cronick, Piper Novitski, and Dean Bellmore. The other riders in the Sunday amateur line-up were Ben Kadonsky, Gustavo Samano, Gunner Leisner, and Wylee Springborn. Peltin has plans to do more with rodeo going forward.
“One of my dad’s friends who runs this thing kinda wants me to try out steer wrestlin’. I think I might try that next year, but I’m probably going to keep doing amateur bull and that. When I’m older, if I go to college for track or something I’ll go do that. But my main plan is to move to either Texas, Wyoming, Montana, anywhere around there, start up a little ranch on 100-180 acres.”
The Carney Roundup Rodeo, a nonprofit organization, is giving proceeds back to the Youth 4-H program. The rodeo president, Joe Hudson, encourages anyone to be a part of the roundup.
“It’s easy, we’ll put you to work!” Hudson said.
Besides professional and amateur bull riding, barrels, and the drill team, the rodeo featured an intricately choreographed trick roping show that was also a must-see, featuring an 18-year old third generation cowboy who performed here in the U.P. from all the way down in Fort Worth Texas.
The children’s events like the mutton-busting and stick pony races were an adorable sight to behold. Saturday night brought an authentic western barn dance for some real country fun. There were categories for saddle broncs, bareback broncs, a calf scramble, raffles, and never a dull moment with the rodeo clown running the show. When Peltin and other barrel-setting volunteers were helping rake out the barrels for the next racer, the announcer made a contest out of who could rake the fastest, or who had the best dance moves while they raked.
The EMT’s and Local Fire Department were very involved in the whole event. The children were delighted to get a spritz from the fire truck passing them by while it watered down the arena.