For Immediate Release
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Come Support the Troops!
The Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association (PAFRA) will host their World Finals Rodeo for U.S. military men and women at the Midland County Horseshoe, 2514 Arena Trail, for the third year in a row this Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1. Event planners hope to fill the entire Horseshoe Arena with supporters of the men and women who serve this country.
The rodeo will kick off with the national anthem, sung by trained opera singer, 16‐year old Addison Pollard. Addison is the daughter of PAFRA member Adam Pollard, Corporal U.S. Marine Corps, and the granddaughter of Janet Pollard of Midland.
Greg Phillips is retired from the U.S. Army and is the president of PAFRA. Phillips said the number of contestants has increased from last year by twenty‐five percent.
“We have competitors at this rodeo that recently returned from deployment,” said Phillips. “Sergeant First Class Bryan Pulak, U.S. Army, returned in August from a six‐month deployment to Afghanistan. Sergeant Shon Colling, U.S. Army, returned in August from a one‐year deployment to Afghanistan. They will both compete in this year’s PAFRA World Finals and we hope to have a lot of spectators to see these performances.”
Lieutenant Colonel Val Baker, vice president of PAFRA, said in past years PAFRA hosted their world finals in a different city each year. In 2011 PAFRA made the move to Midland based on a strong commitment from the Midland County Horseshoe Arena, Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Sports & Entertainment Association of Midland (SEAM). After the success of that first year, PAFRA signed a three‐year commitment with the Midland County Horseshoe.
“Midland has been so supportive of this great patriotic event through sponsorships, ticket sales and military organizations coming together to lend support,” said Baker. “We are thrilled to host our event in Midland at the Horseshoe Arena. This is year three of our three‐ year commitment to Midland and we hope to have such a great event that we are able to return in future years. Support in the form of sponsorships is always needed to help make this possible.”
Spectators can expect to see more than 65 active duty, guard, reserve, and honorably‐ discharged veterans and their dependents compete. Contestants will be coming from all over the United States. There are numerous spin‐off events: the community and contestant roping and barrel race on Friday; the Saturday night after party hosted at Rockin’ Rodeo; and cowboy church service Sunday morning at the Horseshoe.
This year’s PAFRA World Final Rodeo contestants include many men and women who have served our country and have earned top rodeo titles. U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Eric “Wild Goose” Walnofer served a deployment in Iraq and will compete to regain his 2011 World Champion Bull Rider status as he competes against Second Lieutenant Tommy Taylor. Taylor is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy who works as a space operations officer and is reigning World Champion Bull Rider. Spectators will see Lt. Col. Val Baker who has served two tours in Iraq with 12 deployments in her career, currently serving active duty. She competes in numerous events and is a World Champion Breakaway, Header and All‐ Around Champion. Sergeant Chris Skeeters will be a competitor in the rodeo and is active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps with three deployments. Skeeters received the Purple Heart upon return from his tour in Afghanistan. He is the current 2011 Rookie Bull Rider and proud of his service as a combat veteran and a new father.
Tammy Dooley, vice president of marketing and promotions for Dooley Management Company and the Horseshoe Arena, said that while the rodeo is a wonderful event, spectators really come to see is the patriotic performances.
“These soldiers have sacrificed for us, and now we can support them by saluting their rodeo performances,” Dooley said. “Spectators will be introduced to the real military cowboys and cowgirls and their behind‐the‐scene stories.”
The rodeo is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at the Midland County Horseshoe. It will feature events such as bull riding, barrel racing, bareback riding, saddle bronco riding, tie down roping, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, chute dogging and team roping.
PAFRA is a non‐profit, tax‐exempt veteran’s organization comprised of active duty service men and women, reservists and honorably‐discharged veterans. PAFRA’s goal is to provide a venue where men and women who share the bond of military service can come together and compete in the sport of rodeo. PAFRA was formed in 2000 and has been steadily growing ever since, each year breaking records set by the last. Members are allowed to compete at local rodeos in their areas and accumulate points for PAFRA. Currently, they have eight circuits encasing the U.S. and Europe. Each circuit brings their members together late in the season for a circuit finals. The PAFRA World Finals Rodeo is the association’s final event where members travel from all over the world to compete. All PAFRA donations and sponsorships are tax‐deductible.
The Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau will be giving attendees of this rodeo a warm West Texas welcome and providing complimentary services they qualify for through hotel room nights booked.
For more information, visit www.pafra2000.com. For sponsorship or ticket information contact Tammy Dooley at the Horseshoe Arena at (254) 897‐9533.
The above information has been provided by the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association and distributed by the Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau. This event is projected to bring in $559,500 in direct visitor spending to the Midland economy.
The mission of the Midland Convention & Visitors Bureau is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Midland as a vibrant visitor destination.