ABOUT CROOKED RIVER ROUNDUP
Celebrating 77 years of Cowboy Culture in Crook County
In Crook County, the Cowboy Capital of Oregon, we celebrate our western heritage and lifestyle in a big way. Held annually in June and July at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Prineville, the Crooked River Roundup Association puts on two separate events that include a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo and the largest parimutuel horse races in the State of Oregon.
This year, the rodeo is slated for June 21-24, with horse-racing action scheduled to follow July 12-15.
“The Crooked River Roundup is an iconic part of the fabric of the Prineville community,” says Steve Holliday, President of the all-volunteer Crooked River Roundup Association. “It’s a family-friendly tradition that dates back generations -- providing us an opportunity to celebrate our western heritage, reconnect with neighbors, and welcome new friends and visitors.”
Crooked River Roundup
The Crooked River Roundup rodeo was conceived in the early 1940s when a group of ranchers decided to pool their resources and create an event that would embody all that Crook County had to offer. They wanted to draw on the past and keep their storied cowboy traditions alive. After collecting $100 from dozens of locals and buying 11 acres on the south end of town, the Crooked River Roundup was born.
Initially combined with the Crook County Fair, the Roundup was a true cowboy community event and welcomed competitors from across the West, including those from the nearby Warm Springs tribe.
Each year, the Roundup attracts many of the top professional rodeo competitors in the world. Past winners have included some of the biggest names in rodeo, and the event is well-known for introducing up-and-coming talent.
Parimutuel Horse Racing
In 1967, parimutuel horse racing was added to the line-up of Crooked River Roundup events.
In the early days, the weeklong Roundup offered horse racing Wednesday through Saturday, and then the rodeo both Saturday and Sunday. As the Roundup grew, the rodeo and the races were split.
Today, the parimutuel horse races attract the largest daily handle of any racetrack in Oregon and the largest average daily attendance of any track in the state. Thrilling and fast-paced, race distances range from 250 yards to 5 1/2 furlongs and spectators can take part in the excitement of betting (and possibly winning!) on their favorite horses.
More than just a rodeo weekend
Unique to the Crooked River Roundup is the cattle drive that takes place along Main Street to kick off the event annually. Prineville continues to pay homage to the Roundup’s history as ranchers drive cattle through downtown to signify the start of the festivities, followed by a free community chili feed hosted by the police and fire departments.
Non-rodeo events keep rolling with a parade Saturday morning featuring marching bands, tractors, and dozens of intricate floats. This year, be sure to watch for the 2023 Crooked River Roundup Rodeo Queen Mayzee Dalton and Grand Marshal Doug Smith.
Once the rodeo begins, fans can expect all the heart-pumping Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) events they’ve come to expect, including bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (from the iconic alley,) saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
A relatively new competition – the Crooked River Roundup Young Guns special feature event, showcases young rodeo competitors (6-18) who compete during the Roundup along with the professional cowboys and cowgirls. This is a chance of a lifetime for these young boys and girls and has quickly become a huge rodeo fan favorite.
“The Crooked River Roundup is a chance to experience a rodeo and horse races in a true western town where cowboys still live, work, and play,” explains Jason Snider, the Crooked River Roundup Rodeo Chairman “We’re grateful for the more than 500 local volunteers who help put the event on and encourage locals and visitors alike to experience the ‘Cowboy Capital of Oregon’ and celebrate our true western lifestyle.”
To learn more and purchase tickets visit www.crookedriverroundup.com/.
Would you like to become involved with the Crooked River Roundup?
We have sponsorship, volunteer, and vendor opportunities available.
Did you know?
In 1979, in the midst of a massive rebuild and two weeks prior to the show, a work party was held. One volunteer in particular, Cecil Sly, showed the energy of someone half his age and kept pushing the rest to get jobs done: The outside fence on the racetrack got completed, the box seats were replaced in the grandstand, the Pari-mutuel Room was finished, the track lighting was redone, and the arena fencing was reestablished to the point that the rodeo could be held…all in one Saturday.