Osage County commissioners Monday morning conditionally approved a proposal by businessman Scott Trotter to offer helicopter tours of the Pawhuska area at the Roy Clark Memorial Championship Rodeo, which is slated for Friday and Saturday at the county fairgrounds.

The rodeo is a benefit for the American Therapeutic Riding Center, based in Sand Springs. This is the first year the event has been named after the late popular musician Roy Clark, who passed away in November 2018 at the age of 85.

“We just want to help boost this thing up, and make it as big as we possibly can,” Trotter told the commissioners.

District Attorney Mike Fisher said the aerial tour activity will need to be covered by liability insurance and the county will need to be provided with hold-harmless documentation. The insurance coverage should be at least $1 million, he said.

With the rodeo coming up this weekend, the commissioners granted Trotter approval conditioned on his providing the county with proof of insurance and hold-harmless documentation before the event. The vote in favor was 3-0, with District 1 Commissioner Randall Jones making the motion to approve.

Fisher said his office needs to receive the insurance and hold-harmless paperwork by Thursday, to allow time for appropriate review.

A question arose, among residents attending the meeting, about the origin of the decision to name the benefit rodeo for the American Therapeutic Riding Center after Roy Clark.

Kandy Jump, assistant to the commissioners, provided an explanation — “The Clarks have always had a soft spot for Pawhuska because they could get out of the public and be treated like anybody else.” Jump noted that Clark’s widow, Barbara, liked the event.

The rodeo is scheduled to begin Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Clarence L. Brantley Indoor Arena at the Osage County Fairgrounds, at Pawhuska. Concessions will begin each day at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids aged 6-12, and free for children five years old and younger. The proceeds will go to benefit the American Therapeutic Riding Center, a charitable organization that provides equine therapy services to disabled children and adults.

For more information about the ATRC and its services, call Denise Ward at 918-246-9450.