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Arts & Culture

2023 Lehi Round-Up Rodeo did not disappoint



This year’s Lehi Round-Up Rodeo was a delightful mix of fast-paced rodeo events, humorous interludes by clown Justin Rumford, and nail-biting acts of bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding. 

The opening night each year features rodeo queens from around the state. The young ladies who raced around the arena were skilled horsewomen and beauty queens. The grand entry is always a thrill if you love beauty in both humans and horses.

Crowds for all three nights enjoyed perfect summer weather and were in an excellent mood. They cheered, laughed, and clapped as Rumford, a 10-time PRCA rodeo clown of the year, pitted one side of the arena against the other. He also called “dudes” out of the audience to compete in an Elvis dance-off. The crowd laughed and cheered as the two volunteers donned Elvis wigs and attire and danced to familiar Elvis hits. Even though Rumford was hampered by a broken foot, he kept the audience laughing with his down-to-earth homespun humor.

One of the most inspiring moments of the rodeo was the introduction read by rodeo announcer Andy Stewart. The script highlighted Lehi’s history. Stewart’s monologue mentioned all the old Lehi eating establishments, the landmarks, and his words even captured the feel of Lehi from many years ago. His smooth, sincere voice touched the hearts of new Lehi residents and the life-long citizens who remembered those early Lehi days.

An exciting new act that thrilled the crowd was the chuck wagon race. Two chuckwagons pulled by teams of six horses raced around the arena. One chuck wagon represented Lehi High School and one Skyridge. This intensified the contest as the drivers led their teams at full tilt around the arena. This event generated more enthusiasm than some of the more traditional events.

Many commented on the quality of the rodeo stock. The bulls were ferocious. No bull was ridden for the full duration in the bull-riding contest on the first night. The bucking horses were also awe-inspiring. Few cowboys rode for the required 8 seconds. Even the calves were challenging in the calf roping contest.

The rodeo finale was the ever-favorite motorcycle riders who challenged each other in death-defying leaps and somersaults many feet above the arena. This event had even the youngest attendee “ohhhing” and “ahhhhing” at the spectacular stunts.

The music and the announcer’s quips kept the audience engaged and entertained. The participants lingered in the arena after the rodeo to sign autographs and mingle with the crowd. Overall, it was a night of fun, nostalgia, and great competition. With three sold-out nights, the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo committee will add a fourth night in 2024.