Defending champ 4-Bar hopes to lasso 16th title

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

As its members chase after the Best All-Around Club title at the 70th-annual Cavalcade, 4-Bar Roundup Club will be looking to break its own record for all-time championships.

Formed in 1986, 4-Bar has won Cavalcade’s top-club honors 15 times in 30 years. Another title at this year’s “World’s Largest Amateur Rodeo” would put the Yale-based club in an elite Cavalcade fraternity as the fifth club to claim four consecutive championships.

Pawhuska’s weeklong amateur rodeo event opened Monday and continues through Sunday at the Osage County Fairgrounds Arena. Cavalcade’s remaining rodeo performances will be Thursday and Friday morning, at 9, and Wednesday through Saturday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. The Sunday finals will get underway at 11 a.m.

After finishing third in its initial appearance, 4-Bar won its first club title at its second Cavalcade in 1987 and repeated as champion the following year. It took 4-Bar five years to win its third Best Club award in 1993. That represents the club’s longest absence from the Cavalcade victory stand.

Owasso Roundup Club has been 4 Bar’s main competition during the past 20 years. Since winning the first of its recent titles in 1997, the Owasso Club has been a consistent top-three finisher. During a six-year period from 2001-06, Owasso earned four more titles. Award-winning efforts by 4-Bar in 2002 and ‘05 interrupted the Owasso streak. In 2007, 4-Bar took away its eighth title before Ponca City’s Sisco Kids won back-to-back Best Club honors in 2008-09.

Consecutive victories in 2011-2012 moved Owasso into a tie with 4-Bar for second-place on Cavalcade’s list of all-time winningest clubs. While 4-Bar has since added three more titles in a row, Owasso’s 11 titles leaves it in third place — one behind the Turley Roundup Club.

The first of Turley RUC’s 12 Pawhuska titles came from 1953 and the club’s most-recent win was in 1991. Before being passed by 4-Bar in 2014, Turley had been Cavalcade’s all-time Best Club leader for nearly 30 years. Turley moved to the top of list in 1985 when it claimed the last title of its four-year run that lasted from 1982-85.

Edna Roundup Club recorded the first Cavalcade four-peat from 1954-57 and Owasso RUC was the second quadruple champion (1965-68). The Bartlesville Sooner Saddlers claimed four Cavalcade titles from 1974-1977 and Turley RUC was the most recent four-peater (1982-85).