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Rodeo returns to Turlock
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Red Bluffs Zack Brown competes in the Bareback Riding event during Thursdays CCPRA Rodeo at the Stanislaus County Fair. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

After six days of motorsports, the Food Maxx Arena facilitated a different kind of horsepower on Thursday — the authentic kind. The annual California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association rolled into the Stanislaus County Fair to the delight of a packed grandstand, welcoming local and not so local competitors to chase nearly $5 million in prizes.

Rodeo fans were entertained with seven different events: Bareback Riding, Calf Roping, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding. By far, the most popular events were the Steer Wrestling and Bull Riding which coaxed screams and cheers from nearly every fan in attendance.

Turlockers Blake Hirdes, Matt Costa, and Jeffrey Larson were the only local competitors in Thursday’s rodeo. Hirdes competed in the Calf Roping as well and the Team Roping with teammate Robert Staley of Cottonwood, while Costa and Larson combined forces for Team Roping only. Rodeo results were not available by press time. Look in the Wednesday edition of the Journal for results.

Spectators were also treated with a couple of non-rodeo related surprises, beginning with a T34 military plane fly by and ending with a wedding proposal from Charles Birdsong to his now fiancé Jayme Thompson.