Bullriding raises relief funds
More than a dozen professionals, 60 area children and several locals aspiring to be bull riders showed up at the fairground grandstand last Wednesday night for the Bull Buckout and mutton bustin'.
The event, an addition to the main rodeo, was held to raise money to rebuild the damage caused by the May 11 tornado.
But because of extreme heat, event coordinators said the attendance didn't quite reach their expectations.
"I was a little disappointed that the crowds were so light," said Russell Plaschka, vice president of the Leavenworth County Fair Board. "I think that was mostly because of the heat."
Organizers said they hadn't completed a final tally of money raised for tornado relief.
Tonganoxie residents who entered the event were Chris Luellan, Chad Sparks, Tony Strunk and Tyler Wise.
The big winner at the buckout was Terry Deere, who racked up 158 points on two bulls. He earned $950 in prize money, plus an additional $500 riding a bounty bull.
Deere, satisfied with his $1,450-performance, said he wouldn't even ride a tough bull he ran into the next night at the rodeo.
But Tonganoxie cowboy Chad Sparks stepped up and rode him for the eight-count.
"The most exciting thing I saw was when Chad rode that bull Terry wouldn't get on," said Jeff Dickinson. "Chad just rode it."
Taking second was Craig Sasse from St. Peter, Ill., who scored 154 point on his two rides. He won $715.
Demick Tipton of Spencer, Okla., took third with a one-bull score of 81 points. He won $475.