Wrangling for the rodeo | TheFencePost.com

Wrangling for the rodeo

Hastings, Neb., rodeo volunteer is loyal sponsor

HASTINGS, Neb. — For Dwight Dunsworth, the Oregon Trail Rodeo has been a big part of both his personal and business life.

The Juniata man has volunteered at the pro rodeo, held in Hastings, since about 2005, and he and business partner Tom Pavelka’s business Pavelka Truck and Trailer Repair began sponsoring the rodeo five years prior to that.

Every year during the Oregon Trail Rodeo, this year Aug. 19-21, Dunsworth is on hand during each night of the rodeo, providing help with the cattle, sorting them and loading the chutes during the tie-down, team roping and steer wrestling.

For about 10 years, Dunsworth’s volunteer involvement included heading up the parade committee. He recruited Jim and Laurie Smidt of Trumbull to pull the Oregon Trail Rodeo covered wagon, the “mascot” of the rodeo. He also recruited the outriders who rode with the wagon.

Dunsworth even went so far as to buy a diesel pickup and four-horse trailer to haul the horses and wagon to rodeos. The group of volunteers drove the wagon in parades across the area, including NebraskalandDays in North Platte, the Burwell and Phillipsburg rodeos, the Adams County Fair parade, and even the River City Roundup in Omaha. The group was selected one year as the Best Riding Club entrant at the Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell.


As a business owner, Dunsworth, as part of Pavelka Truck and Trailer Repair, has sponsored the pro rodeo for the past two decades. He feels the rodeo sponsorship is a good investment for the business.

Dwight Dunsworth, a longtime volunteer and sponsor of the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings, Neb., carries a sponsor flag on horseback during the grand entry of the rodeo. Courtesy photo

As a sponsor, he likes providing a community event “that attracts good American values, and is a family venue that you can bring your kids to,” he said. Rodeo is “entertainment that’s good clean fun and keeps alive our western heritage.”

Dunsworth rode horses on his grandpa Blackledge’s farm and ranch in Oklahoma as a kid. He and his family moved to Nebraska when he was in grade school. He never competed in rodeo, but has a horse and rides.

He loves being part of the rodeo. “We like supporting community events that bring people together and give them things to do in the community.”

He also volunteered with the Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo, when it was held in Hastings.

The Oregon Trail Rodeo takes place at the Adams County Fairgrounds Aug. 19-21, with performances at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19-20 and at 6 p.m. on Aug 21.

Tickets range in price from $10-$20 and are on sale online at AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com, at the fair office (947 S. Baltimore, Hastings, Neb.) and at the gate.

For more information, visit the website or call the Adams County Fairgrounds office at (402) 462-3247.


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