Southwest Washington Fair’s First NPRA Sanctioned Rodeo Comes to Town


The rodeo has long been a staple event of Lewis County’s Southwest Washington Fair, but this year’s bucking broncs and bulls, cowboys and cowgirls participated in the first Northwest Professional Rodeo Association-sanctioned fair rodeo, announcers said.

Pro Rodeo Announcer JimBob Custer, despite being knocked over by a sprinting sheep, was lively throughout the whole event on Saturday night in the grandstand area, from the kick-off prayer to the last bull rider.

Events included bareback riding, tie down, team and breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding. Kids were also invited to participate in a boot race and mutton busting, where they hold on to a moving sheep — which Custer jokingly proclaimed as the “only legal form of child abuse.”

Halfway through the evening’s slate of events, horses were released to roam the arena as Custer announced that despite some people’s ideas of how animals are treated in the rodeo world, these horses are “healthy, they’re fat, and they love what they do.”

While some cowboys and cowgirls traveled from all over to participate, with one hailing from New Zealand, many locals participated in the rodeo including Levi Walters, of Centralia, in bareback and saddle bronc riding; Joe Hoffman, of Chehalis, Hayzen Hoffman, of Chehalis and Casey Hale, of Tenino, in tie-down roping; Katie Shepp, Emma Homann, Melody Hale and Bonni Johnson, all of Tenino, in breakaway roping; Joseph Wahl, of Chehalis, in novice bronc riding and bull riding; Brain Massingame, of Adna, Corey Hale, of Tenino and Jared Slusher, of Tenino, in team roping; Julia Johnson, of Tenino, in barrel racing; and Jace Catlin, of Toledo, in bull riding.