The annual Sand Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is always bound to round up every cowgirl and cowboy in the Permian Basin.
From pig showing to saddle bronc riding, this exciting event sold out the Ector County Coliseum every night of its nine-day run in January.
This year marked the 81st year of the Stock Show and Rodeo’s return to West Texas.
The week-long affair was equipped with bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, animal showings of every sort and much more. The rodeo had many forms of entertainment as well, such as rodeo clowns, a musical performance from country artist Jake Hooker , and the crowd pleasing “One Armed Bandit”.
The “One Armed Bandit”, performed between events during the rodeo. The bandit was played by Oklahoma rancher, John Payne. Payne suffered from an electrical accident where he lost parts of his arm. However missing a limb did not stop this cowboy. He performed the whole show, doing things like herding buffalo around the arena, solely with one arm. The coliseum filled with cheers and applause from the inspiring performance.
Kimberly Molina, an audience member who came all the way from Ft. Worth Texas, said, “Going to the Sand Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is my favorite way to kick off the new-year.”
The 900 combined competitors brought in a swarm of fans to Odessa. When the rodeo announcer asked if any audience members were from a place other than Texas, fans cheered in representation of their state, many from New Mexico, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
It was apparent that bull riding was the crowd favorite. Many fans claimed that they were not leaving until they were able to watch the event. The audience roared with excitement when bull riding was announced but grew silent as soon as the bulls broke out of the stall.
Big winners include Cody Wright (saddle bronc’), Shane Semien (bull riding) and Emily Efurd (girls’ barrel racing). Winners received cash prizes reaching more than $6,000. Even the losers took home a at least $100 for their efforts.
The rodeo events kept the audience on their toes with a big Texas smile on their face. Fans left the coliseum ready for next year’s show.