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Fort Macleod to host pro bullriders’ event

Fort Macleod is hosting Bullarama, the Elite Professional Bullriders’ first event of the 2011 rodeo season.
Thirty members of the Elite Professional Bullriders will be trying the eight second ride at Midnight Stadium on Friday, March 18.
Just a step down from the Professional Bullriders Association, the Elite Professional Bullriders was first formed in Montana in 2008 and brought into Canada in the spring of 2010 by Fort Macleod rancher Kody Kropius.
Kropius was homesick to see rodeo in Fort Macleod again.
“I’ve been wanting to do something like this in Fort Macleod for a long time,” Kropius said. “We used to have such good rodeo here years ago.”
“This should be a really fun event,” Kropius said. “There’s going to be some great riders here. Travis Warburton — he grew up in Fort Macleod — he’ll be here.”
Kropius is the Canadian stock contractor representative for the Elite Professional Bullriders Association. He raises rodeo bulls on his ranch on the Blue Trail south of Fort Macleod. His company Kropius-Morton Bucking Bulls will be providing some of the stock for Bullarama.
Bullarama is sponsored by the Fort Macleod and District Agricultural Society. Laurel Anderson, Ag Society director for Midnight Stadium, said community support has been great for the season’s first rodeo.
“It’s been fantastic,” Anderson said. “It’s fantastic to see how people want to help. I’ve been pounding the pavement in Fort Macleod, and people have been very generous.”
The Fort Macleod Fire Department has volunteered security, and arrangements are being made with the Town of Fort Macleod for the required ambulance services.
The rodeo gets under way at 7 p.m. Friday, March 18 with a grand entry followed by 15 bucking events.
During the break there will be a calf scramble.
“Any kids that come are eligible for this,” Kropius said. “We put ribbons on the calves’ tails, and they try to catch the ribbon. We’ll have some gift certificates and some prizes.”
The calf scramble will be followed by a second set of 15 bucking events.
The top eight riders will then be auctioned in a Calcutta, with people in the bleachers bidding for whoever they think is going take first place in the finals. The eight then ride again, with the top bidder on whoever takes first place winning whatever has been bid for the total eight riders.
The night’s top bull rider stands to win about $6,000, Kropius said.
Bullarama winds up with a dance by Fast Times.
Tickets for Bullarama are available at the Fort Macleod Vet Clinic or the Macleod Feed Mill.
The Elite Professional Bullriders aims to bring rodeo to smaller communities.
With 200 card carrying members, the association held seven events in 2010, its first year in Canada, in communities like Magrath, Olds, and Delburne.
About 20 events have already been scheduled for the 2011 season.

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