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67th Annual CCPRA Coarsegold Rodeo

COARSEGOLD — Grab your hats and dust off your boots as the CCPRA Coarsegold Rodeo returns on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. This is the 67th annual Coarsegold Rodeo with more than 30 different vendors and seven events including bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, and steer wrestling. Held at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds, known for its beautiful views and rich history, the Coarsegold Rodeo’s special guest this year is John S. Payne, the notorious One Arm Bandit from Oklahoma. JoAnn Swallow is the 2019 Grand Marshal.

Heritage Day for local schools kicks off at 9 a.m. on Friday, before gates open officially at 4 p.m., with rodeo action at 7 p.m., followed by dancing under the stars with a live band. Saturday brings the Michael Steen Exceptional Kids Rodeo at 10 a.m. before gates open again at 4 p.m., with rodeo action at 6 p.m. When the last bull bucks Saturday night, hit the dance floor with country music artists Gregor Ross with special guest Johnny Owens, and Melissa Farrier.

Friday, May 3, 2019

  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Heritage Day and Slack
  • 4 p.m. – Gates open to public
  • 6 p.m. – Mutton Bustin’
  • 7 p.m. – Rodeo
  • 9 p.m. – Dance

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Veterans will be honored at Friday’s rodeo performance, starting with a $5 discount on the ticket with a valid military card. First Responders will be honored at Saturday’s rodeo performance, starting with a $5 discount on the ticket with a valid ID card. Please note that online tickets are regular price and no discount is available. This rodeo is an all-cash cash event and no ATM is onsite. Parking is $5.

Michael Steen Exceptional Kids Rodeo

As a cherished tradition within the Coarsegold Rodeo community, the Exceptional Kids Rodeo returns to the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds this year on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m., when families from the special needs community are invited to attend a unique program which enables exceptional kids of all ages to take part in rodeo-themed games and activities, before the main action starts on Saturday.

Organizers ask that participants arrive 15 minutes early for the free event. With help from Rodeo Royalty contestants, each Exceptional Kids Rodeo participant is provided with individualized assistance through each activity, while they are encouraged and celebrated for their own abilities.

Rodeo Grand Marshal JoAnn Swallow

JoAnn and Gerald Swallow courtesy Coarsegold Rodeo

2019 Grand Marshal JoAnn Swallow and her husband Darold moved to the community with their three children in 1986, including Jay, Darold Jr. and Kittina, looking for a nice place to raise a family. JoAnn has volunteered at the community center for 25 years and for the Halloween party in Yosemite Lakes Park for the last 11 years. Beyond that, organizers say JoAnn has donated countless hours to the rodeo grounds.

JoAnn started selling popcorn and water in Dixie cups for fundraisers for her sons activities, then selling programs as a committee member and volunteering at Heritage Days. You may have seen her if you’ve bellied up to the beer booth, where JoAnn’s been helping out for 23 years.

Every year, says JoAnn, it’s like a big reunion of friends and family at the rodeo. She’s always believed the rodeo is a perfect setting for family fun and a great way to meet your community and make good memories.

JoAnn says she was surprised to be chosen by the rodeo committee and wants to say a special thank you to her husband and children, for without them she would not be able to do all. Her granddaughter Halie, 11, has already been working in the hotdog both for three years and it’s a family affair.

One Arm Bandit

One Arm Bandit Gang leader John Payne, courtesy John Payne

Nororious One Arm Bandit John S. Payne was born to a rancher in the oil rich town of Shidler, Oklahoma on April 19, 1953. Ranch life with four brothers taught John to “get out of the way or get run over!” At the age of 20, while tearing a house down for his dad and, thinking the electricity had been shut off, John climbed an electric pole to cut some wires. Problem was, he was dead wrong about the status of the wires. 7,200 volts of electricity ran through his entire body for an unbearable 10 seconds. John remembers the electrocution clearly. He tried to release his grip, but could not. It burned through the fingers of his right hand; he released his grip and fell 25 feet to what was nearly his death.

What’s it like to receive a shock of 7,200 volts? “It felt like my blood was boiling, and that my brain was going to explode,” says the One Arm Bandit today. “It felt like a monster was savagely attacking my body.”

Despite the massive electrocution, he survived. After a mad dash to the Ponca City Hospital, an ER nurse asked John what he was allergic to. While staring death in the face, John answered “Electricity makes me break out a bit,” proving his sense of humor was still intact. The doctors wanted to cut off John’s left leg but he told them, “I can’t ride a horse with one leg, and if I can’t ride a horse I don’t want to live.” The doctors did, however, cut off his right arm below his shoulder.

After five weeks in the Tulsa burn center, the doctor reported, “no apparent brain damage, but he will be short handed.” So John checked himself out and went home to start breaking a horse he had bought while
in the hospital. In 1975 John took a liking to Judy Crabtree and they married. John and Judy are responsible for what is now considered the most sought after gang in the rodeo world today, The One Arm Bandit Gang.

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