Journal News, The (Westchester County, NY)
The Journal News
August 12, 2001
Rodeo attracts the city slickers
Author: Michael Gannon; Staff
In Mount Vernon, cowboys' skills stir excitement
The Journal News
MOUNT VERNON - Carolyn Ross didn't mind the rain.
After a week of unbearable heat, the light drizzle that
fell over Memorial Field in Mount Vernon yesterday cooled down the weather.
All the better for Ross and her two sons, Joseph and Romello, to enjoy their
first live rodeo, complete with steer wrestling, calf roping and a clown
named Chili Pepper Pearl.lee Winkle.
"It's something different, entertaining," Ross said.
Organized by Brooklyn-based Cowboy Mania Inc., the
rodeo presented two shows at the stadium yesterday and will conclude today
with competitions at 3 p.m.
The weather kept the afternoon crowd much smaller than
the 2,500 predicted yesterday by Alfred Evans, co-president of the company.
Only a few hundred people sat in the covered stadium
bleachers at the show's start.
But the weather didn't damp! en the enthusiasm of the
event's organizers, Evans said.
"You can't command what el Dios has in store for you,"
Evans said, looking up at the sky. "You just gotta deal with it."
Bringing the life of a cowboy to an urban community
like Mount Vernon is what Cowboy Mania is all about. Brooklynite Evans, a
cowboy for almost 40 years, said he decided on his career as a child
watching shows like "The Lone Ranger" and "Hopalong Cassidy" and working
summers on his grandparents' North Carolina farm.
Michael Alston, 9, of Mount Vernon said he was excited
to see the show, but wasn't sure he wanted to be a cowboy.
"It looks dangerous," he said.
Corey Scott, a limousine driver from Mount Vernon, and
his friend, Jose DeJoie from Brooklyn, were taking a close look at some
young steers in a pen before the calf-roping competition. It was the first
rodeo for both.
"When (Corey) told me about this, I said we have to
take a look at it," DeJoie said.
Competitors in the event came from as nearby as Long
Island and as far as South Carolina.
Jerry Napp, a retired racetrack employee from Long
Island, said he and his wife, Debbie, were there to compete in the team
The couple own three horses and enter amateur
competitions a few times a year.
"I always wanted to be a cowboy, even though I grew up
in an urban area," he said.
Shawn Quinn of Schuylerville, N.Y., was competing in
the calf roping in Mount Vernon before heading to an event in New Jersey in
A horse trainer, Quinn said he had competed in five
rodeos this week and has done up to three in a day.
"We just go wherever the rodeos are," he said, as he
brushed his two horses, Pablo and Keno, before the show.
The smaller-than-expected turnout was not limited to
the audience for the entertainment inside the stadium. An animal rights
protest staged by Westchester-based Showing Animals Respect & Kindness drew
only a handful of demonstrators.
"Any rodeo is blatant cruelty," said Yonkers resident
Kiley Blackman, organizer of the protest. "It teaches children to be cruel."
Evans said his rodeos never use cattle prods or other
inhumane methods to stir up the animals, and welcomed the protesters.
"They keep everybody honest," Evans said. "They're the
ones who find those unscrupulous cowboys who abuse animals."
Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for senior citizens
and children under 13.
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