One of Baker City’s biggest events — the annual bull and bronc riding competition in July — will continue in 2020 for its 26th year, but under new management.
And for the first time the rodeo, a major draw during Miners Jubilee, will be televised.
This year’s bronc and bull riding competitions will be the first in which Ken McPheron won’t be involved, said his son, Shane Pierce.
Pierce said his dad, who is in his 80s and has overseen the event as a volunteer, has been looking to retire from that position for the past five years.
The Baker City Bronc and Bull Riding events have joined the Challenge of Champions Tour, a series of 18 rodeos in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada.
This year’s Baker City competitions will both be televised on The Cowboy Channel, Pierce said. The cable network is affiliated with RFD-TV.
“We’re super excited,” said Pierce, who is a member of board of directors for Baker City Bronc & Bull Riding Inc.
Pierce said that although he would have liked to take over for his father, that wasn’t possible given his work and family obligations.
But he said the volunteer board, which includes McPheron, Ken Helgerson, Rich Lien, Greg Hammond and Nick Lien, was committed to making sure the bull and bronc riding events continue into a second quarter-century.
“This is a big deal for our community, and we just didn’t want it to go away,” Pierce said. “We believe we have the right person who can take this horse by the reins and take us forward, hopefully into greener pastures.”
The goal, Pierce said, is that “you’ll get the same show you’ve always got, if not better.”
Jason Mattox of Roseburg started the Coastal Farm & Ranch Challenge of Champions Tour (cctbullriding.com)
The company has been producing bull-riding events for more than a decade, according to its website.