Rodeo champs return to Cloverdale

Penny Smythe is the chair of the Cloverdale Rodeo.

Three world and three Canadian champions will be returning to the Stetson Bowl this May for the 65th annual Cloverdale Rodeo and 122st Country Fair.

Four-time world champion bareback rider Bobby Mote of Culver, Oregon will be back in 2011, despite battling injuries last year.

Saddle bronc rider Cody Wright won his second world championship title in 2010, and ladies barrel racing contender, Sherry Cervi, is also returning to Cloverdale this year. She made an impressive comeback in 2010 to claim her third world championship title, after championships in 1999 and 1995.

Canadians Dustin Flundra (saddle bronc), Dusty LaValley (bareback), and Rana Koopman (barrel racing) are also returning to the rodeo.

Other confirmed competitors are reigning Cloverdale Rodeo champion Sami Bessert (barrel racing), and bull riders Wesley Silcox, Douglas Duncan – the 2010 Calgary Stampede champion – and Steve Woolsey, two-time Cloverdale champion.

The top 24 rodeo contestants based on last year’s final world standings are invited to the Cloverdale invitational rodeo.

This year’s rodeo and country fair takes place May 20 to 23 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, and offers one of the richest payouts in the country with $360,000 in prize money.

“We are extremely pleased to mark the 65th annual rodeo with a very strong talent pool consisting of the world and Canadian champions,” Cloverdale Rodeo Chair Penny Smythe said. “There is no better way to mark this milestone than giving West Coast rodeo fans a first rate show.”

Two talent pools of competitors compete in four events: bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding and ladies barrel racing, with money awarded in each round.

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