Osage Xtreme Bronc Days returning to county Fairgrounds
Ben Andersen’s budding career as a professional saddle bronc rider took a decided turn for the better in March 2021 in Pawhuska.
Andersen was the winner at Osage Xtreme Bronc Days, held for the first time March 26-27, 2021. In one weekend, Anderson placed third in an event in Redmond, Oregon and first in Pawhuska. He jumped from 35th place to 10th place among Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) saddle bronc riders, and the Pawhuska win was among the strong performances that helped him secure his first National Finals Rodeo appearance last year.
Anderson had four event victories in 2021. In addition to Pawhuska, he won at the Crooked River Roundup in Prineville, Oregon; at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo In Hermiston, Oregon; and at the Pile O Bones Rodeo in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Andersen, 22, hails from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, a town of just over 6,700 people. He said he’s excited about returning to Pawhuska.
“Yes, I’m very excited,” he said in a brief telephone interview. “That weekend turned out better than I thought. You never know. It definitely helped get me up in there (in the rankings).”
Andersen said one of the things he enjoyed about winning at Pawhuska was that the horse he rode -- Dakota Rodeo's "Cash Deal" -- had a reputation for being a challenging mount.
Rodeo competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. both Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at the Osage County Fairgrounds. Advance tickets will be $15, and tickets bought at the point of admission will be $20. Children under 10 years old will get in free of charge.
Advance tickets may be purchased in Pawhuska at Osage Outfitters and the Dry Hollow Bar. Advance tickets may also be purchased online at www.outhousetickets.com.
This event will offer professional quality athletic entertainment to Osage County residents the first weekend after Spring Break from school.
Cody Garnett, owner of the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum in Pawhuska, emphasized that people should understand the high quality of the performances that will be offered.
”This ain’t some off-brand rodeo association,” Garnett said. “This is the equivalent of NASCAR, of the NFL."
Garnett explained it is important for Osage County residents to get out and see the saddle bronc riding competition, both for their own enjoyment and to hopefully prove that it is popular enough for event promoters to continue to bring it to the Osage County Fairgrounds.
Stock contractors Mo Betta Rodeo Company and Championship Pro Rodeo are handling the event. It will feature 50 of the top PRCA saddle bronc riders, along with rookie bronc riders.
There is to be a Kick-Off party following the March 25 performance, and an After Party at following the March 26 performance.
Photo caption: Ben Andersen is shown in action in this image. He was the winner of the inaugural Osage County bronc-riding event in Pawhuska, in March 2021. He is looking forward to returning for the 2022 competition, scheduled for March 25-26. This is an official Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) competition. Photo by Kay Miller, Bunkhouse Blessings Photos.