No fanning necessary
While the weather this Independence Day may not have been ideal for jumping in the lake, it was perfect for rodeo. An enthusiastic crowd that organizer R.T. Hendrickson estimated was bigger than most in the event’s 28-year history packed the wooden bleachers at the Arlee Fourth of July Rodeo, cheering on local cowboys and out-of-towners alike. And this year, the spectators weren’t baking in the sun.
“(The turnout) was really good this year, because it was cool,” Hendrickson said.
Cowboys and cowgirls from all over Western Montana competed in 13 events for about $3,000 in prize money. While only a few bronc and bull riders managed to last a full eight seconds, there was plenty of excitement to be had in the other events. Arlee cowgirl Bobbi Taulber took home the belt buckle for top barrel racer with a time of 14.89 seconds, while her top three competitors all came in under 15 seconds.
“We had some fast barrel racing,” Hendrickson said. “All four places were pretty close.”
This year’s rodeo was dedicated to the memory of Juanita Schall, Carmel Tanner and Lenord Lytle, three Arlee residents who passed away during the last year.