A bull rider attempts to stay on for eight seconds at the Sonoita Rodeo. Photo by Sally Reichardt

The 107th annual Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo drew 5,300 guests, 531 pro rodeo entries, 248 junior rodeo entries and 70 vendors over the three-day weekend. The Sonoita Fairgrounds also hosted two dances and steak fry dinners, prepared by the Elgin Club.

Attendees at the Sonoita Fairgrounds watched contestants in the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo event compete in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, roping events, and the wild ass ride.

Several local youths took home awards in the three junior rodeos which took place at noon each day. McKenzie Beyer took first place in team roping, Lexie Miller won the barrel racing event, Kaydee Zerbel was first in breakaway roping. Second place awards went to Cole Keith in steer riding, Cole Hubbell in team roping, Clancy Zerbel in mutton busting, Hurley Henington in steer riding, Kaydee Zerbel in team roping and McKenzie Beyer in breakaway roping. Third place finishes included Sebastian Padilla in team roping, McKenzie Beyer in breakaway roping, and Kaydee Zerbel in barrel racing. The wild ass ride was won by Hurley Henington on Saturday, Brynlee Mathews on Sunday, and Tucker Robbs on Monday.

 “I felt like it was a huge success,” Fair Manager Lacy Beyer said. “Everyone was super happy with how things went.” The Sonoita Labor Day Rodeo committee was chaired by Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association (SCCFRA) board member Aaron Thomas, who was assisted by SCCFRA board members. Tom Hardesty and Dale Davies worked the equipment to keep the arena groomed. The junior rodeo was organized by Stacy Scouten. Fairgrounds manager Lacy Beyer was assisted by Monica Anderson, who oversaw sponsorships, Pat Waldorf, who organized the volunteers, and Mary Woods who coordinated the vendors.