Family affair

The Broken Horn Rodeo, a world championship rodeo, hit the grandstand at the Seneca County Fair Thursday night and will return tonight for a second show.

Jim McElroy, who started Broken Horn Rodeo in 1991 in Ripley with his wife and two sons, said the rodeo features events including bareback bronc riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

“I think it’s probably the greatest family entertainment that’s out there,” McElroy said.

McElroy’s family-oriented rodeo is run by three generations, including his two sons who are pro rodeo-ers. The family travels throughout the country to put on up to 35 rodeos each year.

The Broken Horn Rodeo has been featured at the Seneca County Fair for a few years, McElroy said, and last year, its show at the Seneca County Fair was rated the best rodeo in Ohio.

Broken Horn Rodeo furnishes everything for its rodeos, including livestock and professional bull-riding bulls. It also makes sure the arenas are in tip-top shape for each rodeo.

“The pro riders just come in to ride,” McElroy said.

McElroy said a total of about 200 contestants are expected to complete both nights at the Seneca County Fair. The bulls featured are those that have been to finals in Las Vegas and also have been on TV. Three of the bulls are in the world’s top 10, McElroy said. One well-known bull, Cool Spot, bucked Thursday night and also will be featured tonight.

McElroy said Broken Horn rodeos usually average an audience between 3,500 and 3,800 people and packed stands are common.

“We’ve been having packed grounds,” McElroy said. “It’s really been good It’s been super.”

Ray Souder, who has helped organize the rodeo at the Seneca County Fair for 24 years, said the Broken Horn Rodeo has been a success.

“It’s worked out very well for us,” he said.

The Broken Horn Rodeo was invited to the fair a few years ago after Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association didn’t offer rodeos in the area.

“Now it’s been quite successful,” Souder said.

“We hope to have a lot of people,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll get a nice crowd.”