Cole McKenney honored with award and then goes on to win Hide Race title with partner Bailey Doherty
CRESTON — A special member of the Creston Classic Rodeo family was recognized this past weekend, Sept. 15-18, at the 26th Annual Creston Classic Rodeo (CCR). Cole McKenney was honored as the first Creston Man of the Year.
“Cole is such a special kid. He loves this rodeo. He loves helping; he loves being a part of it,” CCR Board President Lee Oliver said.
Oliver presented McKenney with a custom-made belt buckle just before McKenney went into the arena for his turn in the hide race. McKenney and his teammate Bailey Doherty were the last to compete in the hide race and, as fate would have it, won the race, becoming the 2022 Hide Race Champions.
“It was unbelievably perfect,” said Oliver, who was proud to see McKenney win.
This year’s rodeo broke records when it came to their jackpot barrel race, which brought in 135 contestants.
“It went very well. I was bigger than we’ve ever had,” said Oliver.
Starting on Thursday, Sept. 15, contestants and fans of rodeo came out to the CCR arena. Over the weekend, people competed in events like team roping, breakaway, sort n rope, and the ever-favorite hide races. This year, Oliver and his team added a relay race to the lineup, which proved to be a popular event.
A flyover opened the grand entry of the rodeo ceremonies in honor of the late Estrella Warbirds aviator Sherman Smoot.
While last year’s CCR was their best year to date, Oliver says this year matched if not surpassed last year’s participation in the stands and in the arena.
“The beautiful part about this deal is the majority [contestants] are locals,” says Oliver of the hometown rodeo.
Each year, locals look forward to trying their hand in the CCR arena, and this year was no different, but Oliver stresses the board’s main focus is the youth. This value prompted the CCR board to add a Junior All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl winner.
“They are the future of this heritage that we have,” said Oliver. “If we don’t have the kids understanding the western way and the heritage of it, where it comes from, and the history, it’s going to fizzle out.”
Longtime supporter and sponsor of CCR Linda Roer favors the youth events, especially the dummy roping.
“She is amazing, and I cannot say enough good things about Linda Roer,” said Oliver, adding, “[she is the] biggest supporter this rodeo has ever had.”
2022 Creston Classic Rodeo All-Around Winners:
- Women’s All-Around | Haleigh Grant
- Men’s All-Around | Tristan Schmidt
- Junior Girls All-Around | Lilly Thompson
- Junior Girls All-Around | Shaylee Baxley
- Junior Boys All-Around Tie | Cash Filipponi / Trey White
For more information on CCR, visit crestonclassicrodeo.org