(Posted July 7, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
As Sandra McElroy puts it, “It’s been a long, long year.”
Sandra and her husband, Jim, run Broken Horn Rodeo. Going into the 2020 rodeo season, they had 30 shows booked but COVID-19 whittled that number down to two. Things are looking up, though, as the Ripley, Ohio, outfit has 24 shows slated around the country for 2021. More than half are taking place in Ohio.
The Madison County Fair is on that list (July 10 at 7 p.m.), and Sandra is thankful.
“They are a great committee,” she said of the senior fair board. “They work to try to make things better. I’m happy they’re going to have a full fair. Some (counties) aren’t.”
This marks the second time Broken Horn has brought a rodeo to the Madison County Fair. The first time was in 2019, and it was a hit.
“It was the best rodeo we had in a longtime. It was so crowded. All the bleachers were packed,” said Amy Nichols, fair board member.
Broken Horn puts on a full rodeo featuring seven events–saddle bronc riding, bareback horse riding, steer wrestling, tie-down calf roping, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.
“We’re a professional rodeo with professional cowboys,” said Jim McElroy. “We also welcome some local amateur cowboys to keep the community involved.”
Sandra and Jim started Broken Horn in 1991. It is one of the largest and busiest rodeo companies in the International Professional Rodeo Association.
Sandra said it’s their stock and their focus on family that make them stand apart.
“We’re a family-run business, and our shows are family-oriented,” she said.
Young spectators who want to be part of the rodeo action are invited to compete in stick horse races. Entrants are divided into two age groups: 5 and younger, and 6 to 9 years old. Bikes go to the winners in each age group. No entry fee or registration is required. Cole McClaskie Lawn Service and Mason & Son Dumpsters are sponsoring the stick races.
General admission to the rodeo is free with paid gate admission to the fair. Pit passes are an additional $10 per person.
The 2021 Madison County Fair runs July 10-17. For a full schedule of events, visit Madison County Fair.