Back in November I was invited to cover the Oleika Shriners Pro Rodeo for Rodeo News by my friend, and freelance photographer, Rick Samuels. It was great to get back to my roots–I did high school and college rodeo and fell in love with the sport. I saw some old friends, met some people whose name I only knew from press and seeing them competing at rodeos, and introduced my husband to the sport I once devoted my life to.
The Oleika Shriners started hosting an International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) rodeo at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park three years ago as a way to raise money to help support the Shrine’s work. When the group noticed their trademark circuses weren’t grabbing the attention of families as much as they used to, John Bourne came up with the idea of hosting a professional rodeo.
Now, after three years, the rodeo has grown so much in attendance and notoriety that the IPRA has decided this rodeo will now be the home of the All Region Finals, a prestigious rodeo for members of the IPRA before the International Finals Rodeo. This shows the IPRA’s appreciation for the great work the Shriners have done bringing professional rodeo to Central Kentucky.