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HOMETOWN FAVORITE

Rodeo welcomes competitors

August 16, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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Emma Sasse, 3, from Chicora cheers the action in the rodeo arena Wednesday night. The rodeo continues through Saturday.
Zane Slater, 27, from Parker tries to wrestle down a steer at the North Washington Rodeo on Wednesday night. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUSTIN GUIDO/ BUTLER EAGLE

Here’s an honest review — the announcers at the North Washington Rodeo asked a steer wrestler to show the crowd his hair after he competed Wednesday night so that they could mock its length, and he still said it’s his favorite rodeo in the world.

That competitor, 27-year-old Zane Slater, grew up just a few miles from the arena. He and several family members are involved every year.

“It’s our hometown rodeo,” Zane said. “Everybody knows you. Some of the rodeos you go to are 200, 300 miles away. Not here.”

His cousin, Morgan Slater, 21, of Slippery Rock, also competed Wednesday night. She competed in break-away roping.

“I’ve been doing it my whole life,” she said. “I could ride a horse before I could walk.”

And she agreed with Zane.

“This is my favorite rodeo, easily,” Morgan said. “It’s the hometown.”

The Slaters, evidently, are not unique. Dale Yerigan, general manager of the International Professional Rodeo Association, which sanctions the event, said his organization handles about 400 rodeos.

The vast majority of the association’s members are rodeo competitors, he said. Their most recent vote put the North Washington Rodeo as the fifth favorite rodeo out of all 400.

Yerigan said participants like it because there’s a relatively large amount of cash to be won, and there’s a high quality welcome given from locals.

The North Washington Rodeo continues through Saturday night at 2225 Oneida Valley Road.

Read more in the Thursday’s Butler Eagle.

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