Opinion: Miss Lehi encourages Lehi Rodeo attendance

Kadee Jo Jones | Lehi Free Press

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Come one, come all to the world famous Lehi Round-Up Rodeo! This year the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo will be celebrating 81 years of every Lehi citizen’s favorite tradition, the PRCA rodeo. In my opinion, Lehi Round-Up is better than Christmas, and we as a city wait for it to make its debut, counting down the days, minutes and hours.

I started attending the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo at the young age of six months when my mother bundled me and my triplet siblings up in baby cowboy boots and bandanas to watch a time-honored tradition. Since then, I have attended all three nights of the rodeo for the past 19 years, and each rodeo is filled with more excitement than the last.

Every year, the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo Committee spends hours thinking of the best specialty acts to present to Lehi City to assist in creating memories that will last a lifetime. This year Rider Kiesner, Lecile Harris, Keith Sayers, Chad Bauman, and the Young Living Percherons will entertain the audience in between events during all three nights of the rodeo.

Rider Kiesner, at the young age of 26, is a trick roping sensation and has traveled the world, being featured in the largest rodeo arenas the world has to offer. He has performed at the National Finals Rodeo, which is equivalent to the Olympics for cowboys and cowgirls. He has also performed at the Cheyenne Frontier Days six times, twirling his rope around his body while jumping in and out, amongst other tricks. His outstanding performance has earned him the title of World Champion Trick Roper four times.

In addition to trick roping, Rider is known for his skill in cracking whips and spinning guns, he won the title of World Champion Gun Spinner twice. Those accomplishments are just at the top of his list though, Rider is also the two-time World Champion All -Around Western Performer, has performed in 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Oman, Dubai, Lebanon, and France. He is one act that is sure to thrill at this year’s rodeo.

Rodeo fans who adore horses will love the Young Living Percherons and won’t want to miss out on the excitement of their act. Six black Percherons will showcase their athletic talent pulling a show wagon while they are guided to do figure eights, dock the wagon, and swing the wagon back and forth. The show is used to demonstrate how freight wagons were loaded and unloaded back in the freighting days. The powerful horses stand 18 hands high and weigh about 2,000 pounds each. During the show, the Percherons will also demonstrate their athleticism by running around the arena full speed, a definite wow to any horse-lover. The Lehi Round-Up Rodeo is honored to welcome the Young Living Percherons to Lehi’s favorite tradition.

For those in the crowd who don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle that the rodeo has to offer, Keith Sayers and Chad Bauman will be showcasing their FMX talents on ramps set up in the rodeo arena. The high-flying dynamic duo will be performing death-defying tricks like the “Superman,” and the “Cliffhanger,” in addition to backflip variations and so many more. Keith Sayers has been riding FMX and Motocross for 14 years, and his counterpart, Chad Bauman, has been riding for ten. The only catch is; the louder the fans are, the more intense the tricks get. Fans attending the rodeo this year are best to show up ready to lose their voice because screaming at the top of your lungs for higher jumps has become a staple at the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo.

Also in attendance at the rodeo will be Lehi’s favorite clown, the one and only Lecile Harris. Harris, adored by many, got his start in rodeo as a bullfighter while still in high school. He was once nicknamed, “The Dean of Rodeo Clowns and Bullfighters,” and was awarded the PRCA Clown of the Year four times. A former football player at the University of Tennessee, Lecile has made appearances in several films including The Dixie Dance Kings, The Last days of Frank and Jesse James, and Walking Tall: The Final Chapter.

Lecile Harris has been attending the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo for many years, and was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. His book, This Ain’t My First Rodeo can be found on amazon.com. The talented clown is more than excited to be performing at this year’s rodeo.

It should also be noted that if you don’t come to the rodeo for the cowboys, cowgirls, or the amazing specialty acts, you should at least stop by the concession stand for a famous rodeo burger. The burger, topped with pickles, lettuce, and a generous amount of the secret fry sauce, famous only to Lehi’s rodeo, is tantalizing from the first bite. If my math is correct, I have eaten over 75 Lehi Round-Up rodeo burgers over the years, so if anyone can be considered a credible burger critic, it’s me.

The theme for the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo is, “Join the Tradition,” and for good reason. The Lehi rodeo has been creating lifelong friendships and memories for almost 81 years now, and the rodeo committee has become expert at picking crowd favorites that will continue to make memories for many years to come. Isn’t making memories what life is all about? With that in mind, the Lehi Rodeo isn’t just a celebration of cowboys and cowgirls, it’s a celebration of life and everyone within Lehi City’s confines. If you are new to Lehi Round-Up or if you have been to every Lehi Rodeo since its creation, I invite you to join the tradition today, and take the first inaugural steps to celebrating life in Lehi City and making memories to recall for the rest of time.

Those interested in coming should visit Lehirodeo.com and purchase their tickets. Take it from Miss Lehi herself, you won’t want to miss out!

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