Hang on — a Stampede coming through

Thousands expected at Auburn rodeo this weekend
By: Loryll Nicolaisen Journal staff writer
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It’s time to get back in the saddle, Auburn. The Wild West Stampede is galloping into town, bringing with it all kinds of high-energy entertainment that’ll leave cowboys and cowgirls of all ages hollering “yeehaw!” Karen Spencer, Wild West Stampede director, said there’s no need to let unsettled weather impact the party, as Magnussen’s entire indoor showroom and covered outdoor area are open for the celebration. In fact, a little bit of rain early in the week is actually a good thing, Spencer said. “It’s going to help us keep our dust down and because it’s raining now there’s time for it to soak in,” she said. The National Weather Service forecast for Auburn calls for highs right about 70 degrees Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “It’s going to be a tank-top rodeo,” Spencer said. Action later in the week includes barrel racing Thursday — “They say these are the fastest women on horseback,” Spencer said — and team roping Friday. Admission for these competitions, which take place at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, is free, as is parking. Thousands of fans are expected to file into the rodeo arena at the Gold Country Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. Rodeo-goers can show up as early as 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, when the Cowboy Corral Trading Post opens for business, with vendors selling everything from hats to toys to items for the home, Spencer said. Mutton bustin’ is the first grandstands event Saturday and Sunday that requires you use your rodeo ticket. Starting at 1 p.m. both days, the competition involves boys and girls trying to hang on tight to wooly sheep as they run into the arena. Registration is already full, but spectators can still expect to have a good time from the grandstands. “I love to see the kids’ expressions when they get up from the sheep,” said Sandy Starch, a Wild West Stampede volunteer who serves on the mutton bustin’ committee. “Sometimes it’s positive, and some times they look at their parents like, ‘Why did you send me out here?’” Two Sunday-only events include cowboy church with Willie Knoernschield at 11 a.m., and the Dick Foster Special Kids Rodeo at noon. The PRCA Rodeo fires up at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, promising an action-packed program of bareback and saddle bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, tie down roping, barrel races and, of course, bull riding. “It’s tradition in Auburn that we always start with bull riding and end with bull riding,” Spencer said. After-hours entertainment includes post-rodeo live music at the fairgrounds Saturday evening and not one, but two rodeo dances. “Generally the fire marshal stops us from letting more people in because it is so big,” Spencer said of the rodeo dance. This year’s dances will be held Friday and Saturday nights and are open to everyone 21 and older. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at -------------------------------- Tickets Rodeo Advance Purchase Adults $13 Kids (6-11) $7, 5 and under free Family Package $30 — includes 2 adults, 3 children Rodeo Tickets At-the-Gate Adults $15 Kids (6-11) $7, 5 and under free Parking $5 Discount available at: Boot Barn, 4401 Granite Drive, Rocklin; Placer Farm Supply, 10120 Ophir Road, Newcastle; Echo Valley Feed, 205 Nevada St., Auburn. Discount ends at noon April 23. Calendar of events Events are held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn, unless noted otherwise. Call (530) 889-2825 or visit for information. Thursday Jackpot Barrel Racing starts at noon and goes until approximately 10 p.m. Free to public. Friday Jackpot Team Roping starts at 9 a.m. and goes all day. Free to public. Pistol Pete’s Saloon Rodeo Dance features live music by the Saddleback Ridge Band. 9 p.m. at 140 Harrison Ave., Auburn. Must be 21. $5 cover charge. Saturday Cowboy Corral Trading Post Opens 11 a.m. Free to the public. Mutton Bustin’ 1 p.m. Rodeo ticket required for spectators. PRCA Pro Rodeo 2 p.m. US Army Color Guard, California Cowgirls Drill Team, Bull Riding, Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Barrel Races. Plus! Donnie Landis, Rodeo Clown, and Miss Wild West Stampede. VIP Rodeo Dance with The Fortunate Few. 5-7 p.m. Pistol Pete’s Saloon Rodeo Dance Live music by Chris Hescock & the Dyin’ Breed. 9 p.m. at 140 Harrison Ave., Auburn. Must be 21. $5 cover charge. Sunday Cowboy Corral Trading Post opens 11 a.m. Free to the public. Cowboy Church Willie Knoernschield 11 a.m. Free to public. Dick Foster Special Kids Rodeo at noon. Rodeo ticket required. Advance registration available by calling (530) 305-2009 or online at Mutton Bustin’ 1 p.m. Rodeo arena. Rodeo ticket required for spectators. PRCA Pro Rodeo See Saturday.