Oregon Trail Rodeo crew prepare for weekend event

The heat didn’t sway the Oregon Trail Rodeo crew, who put on the finishing touches for the start of a big weekend.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The heat didn’t sway the Oregon Trail Rodeo crew, who put on the finishing touches for the start of a big weekend. Publicist Ruth Nicolaus said there’s not a lot of preparation on the day of the event, because most prep work is done before the livestock arrives.

Most people working the rodeo work outside on a regular basis. Nicolaus compared the work to doing road work; the crew doesn’t work fast in the heat and take frequent breaks.

Nicolaus said being accustom to working outside works for them in this situation.

“I think it just makes you tougher because you know how to handle the heat; You know how to handle the cold, you know how to handle it when it’s wet it just makes you tougher,” said Nicolaus. “It you don’t think about it. You put it out of your mind and you do the job you gotta do.”

Nicolaus said rodeo people wear long sleeves and jeans no matter the temperature. As for the livestock, they’re use to enduring hot temperatures as well.

The livestock is stabled by Korkow Rodeo in Pierre, South Dakota. The Owner, Jim Korkow, said he doesn’t really believe in pampering livestock.

Nicolaus said the crew have are experts in beating the heat.

“It depends on your job. If you’re taking care of animals you’re out early in the morning feeding and watering and so you escape the heat of the day because you’re doing it in the morning,” said Nicolaus “I mean it’s not hard work, It’s the Korkow crew does this every weekend, they’re use to it.”

Nicolaus said most people in rodeo prepare for shows almost every weekend, no matter the weather. Those who participate in rodeo have been in the sport all their life.

“My family’s kinda grown up with horses my entire life. My uncle is a local stock contractor for a lot of the high school rodeo and amateur rodeos here in Nebraska, and my grandpa raises horses so it’s something that’s kinda a passion of mine and my families,” said Forster, former Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo Queen.

As past queen, Forster gets to carry the flags for the grand entry, which is a way for participants to meet the people.

“The grand entry is a lot of fun because we kinda get to show off who’s going to be apart of the rodeo before it even starts and wave and say hi to all the fans and then get ready for a good time here at the Oregon Trail Rodeo after.”

A new Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo Queen will be crowned Saturday, and Forster explains what contestants go through.

“When I talk about a Rodeo Queen pageant, I usually compare it to a regular pageant, but instead of a talent we have horsemanship and we also have to be very knowledgeable about the sport of rodeo and all the different events and we have to be able to use our public speaking skills.”

If you venture over to Kool-Aid Days medical experts warn that you should be cautious about your sugar intake.

“Well it’s not good for your health in general, put you in high risk of developing a number of health problems so it’s just important I think to get a good balance and so keep eating even though it’s hot,” said Brett Malchow, M.D. at Hastings Family Care. “Sometime people don’t have as much of an appetite but you need some of the natural salts and some of the different electrolytes that kinda come along with things.”

Malchow said people should drink in moderation. Adding, those with pre-existing conditions are the most at risk.