On behalf of the Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo Committee and the Benton Franklin Fair Board, I welcome you to five action-packed performances featuring top contestants from across the U.S. and Canada.
We are proud to have increased the purse to $20,000 per event for most events, and added the "Championship Saturday" where we will present the Top 10 in each event to compete to be crowned the overall winner of the rodeo. Also, this year we are adding Steer Roping to our Championship Saturday line-up. We are proud to once again welcome some of the finest rough stock in the United States and Canada brought to us by the Calgary Stampede and Bridwell Pro Rodeo Company. Our partnership with Calgary earned us the PRCA's Remuda Award for the best stock of any rodeo in the nation in 2017. Our rodeo also grew to become the #21 ranked rodeo out of more than 650 PRCA-sanctioned rodeos in the United States.
The big voice from Georgia, Roger Mooney, will be back to announce the events for his 22nd year. With the retirement of our longtime hometown bullfighters Rowdy Barry and Ryan Wilson we welcome bullfighters Dusty Tuckness, Nate Jestes & Miles Barry to take over the bullfighting duties. Barrelman JJ Harrison of Walla Walla will entertain the crowd.
Thursday night we will raise funds for breast cancer research at our 13th annual "Wrangler Tough Enough to Wear Pink" event. We are happy to say we've donated more than $158,000 for health care for uninsured women in our community in that time. Please join us in wearing pink and we'll contribute $1 per person in pink. Saturday we celebrate veterans and first responders, so wear your red, white & blue.
We are a proud member of the Big 4 Rodeos along with our partners at the Pendleton Round-Up, Lewiston Round-Up and Walla Walla Frontier Days Rodeo. Thanks to our Rodeo Committee's experience, the Benton Franklin Fair Board and the great support of the Tri-Cities community, we bring you another great week of family entertainment.
--Mike Casey, Chairman