CEDAR CITY — The Great American Stampede Rodeo continued Saturday with college athletes competing in event finals and Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey performed his comedy act.
The crowd erupted in laughter as Turvey pushed and pulled on each part of his horse as it laid on the ground. The horse was turned upside down at one point in the show.
“I’ve never seen someone able to move a horse around like that so freely and not have it kick them,” Cedar City Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association member Shauna Fay said.
After the horse did stand up, Turvey continued his act as he climbed inside a platform box, which the horse stood atop.
Turvey entertained the audience as he poked his head out each side of the box in search of the horse, which seemed invisible as it stood on the box out of his owner’s sight.
Turvey said his father was a rodeo cowboy and his interest in horses began at a young age.
At age 19, Turvey began his career with horses at a medieval times dinner and tournament show in Florida. The show presents battles, jousting and sword fighting.
“I love horses,” Turvey said. “I like training horses. I like the aspect of taking something that doesn’t know anything and training it. Especially an animal.”
The outcome of training, being an entertainer and traveling, are aspects that Turvey said he enjoys about his job.
“There’s more to do with horses than just riding them,” he said. “I wouldn’t be into horses if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing. I’m 45 and have done this since I was 18.”
The college rodeo crowd was new to Turvey, but something he said he enjoyed.
During the rodeo, Great American Stampede Rodeo Queen McKinzie Jimerson chased cows into chutes after certain events, drew raffle tickets for prizes and participated in the rodeo grand entry.
“The rodeo has been a lot of fun,” Jimerson said. “I’ve liked watching and working out there.”
Since becoming the rodeo queen, Jimerson has traveled to other rodeos throughout the state to represent Cedar City and the Great American Stampede Rodeo.
“I’ve enjoyed going other places to participate in so many different rodeos,” she said.
Competing college teams at the Great American Stampede Rodeo included Southern Utah University, Utah State University, Weber State University, Snow College, Dixie State University, Utah Valley University, Idaho State University, Mesa State University, Colorado Northwest Community College and College of Southern Idaho.
The college athletes competed in bull riding, calf roping, breakaway roping, team roping, bulldogging, barrel racing and saddle bronc riding.
Members of the Lions Club, who host the event each year, said Saturday night was one of the bigger crowds they’ve had at the rodeos.
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