McAlester kicks up dirt for annual rodeo - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

McAlester kicks up dirt for annual rodeo

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The 4th annual Sam Wampler Freedom Ford Pro Rodeo takes place inside of the McAlester Expocenter (Kten) The 4th annual Sam Wampler Freedom Ford Pro Rodeo takes place inside of the McAlester Expocenter (Kten)

MCALESTER, Okla. -- McAlester kicked up dirt inside of their expo center Saturday for the 4th annual Sam Wampler Freedom Ford Pro Rodeo. 

"Our dealership and myself -- we have done it simply to see families and a community come together," said rodeo sponsor, Sam Wampler. 

Wampler hosted the Freedom Ford Pro Rodeo inside of the McAlester Expo Center Saturday for the fourth straight year.

"We have a lot of fun," said rodeo clown Dusty Myers. 

"Its a heritage and a lifestyle," said announcer Trey Windhorst. "We're trying to keep it going and living." 

The rodeo featured bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping and a specialty act from a roman rider. 

"Its lots of trial and error." said Roman Rider,  Haley Ganzel. "You're always readjusting yourself to fit your horses... and with that comes a few painful falls." 

Ganzel says she was raised on the rodeo life.

At five years old, she started working with ponies as a trick rider. 

Now she travels with her horses to rodeos and jumps through fire as The Roman Rider. 

"My horses turn my fire torches like poles," said Ganzel." They jump through fire without hesitation." 

Ganzel says the feeling she gets during her performances are like no other and the reactions from the crowd make her job worth it. 

"I get to see the smiling faces," said The Roman Rider. " The kids come up afterward and ask me how I do what I do and they're so excited..... it makes my job worth it." 

Wampler says that's why he hosts the event every year. He hopes the community will continue to come out and enjoy the rodeo. 

"For them to come back and have a great time -- they're watching and laughing and talking with their families -- that's why we do it." 

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