Cle Elum roundup

Ellensburg heeler Joey Bergevin, roping with Jack Fischer, loops his rope around the heels of his steer in team roping Friday at the Cle Elum Roundup in 2019. The event is back after missing 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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CLE ELUM – Contestants have waited two years. Fans have waited two years. While the stock has bucked and ran out of a chute elsewhere, it hasn’t happened in Cle Elum for two years.

After a pause for the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, the Cle Elum Roundup is back for 2021 as part of the Columbia River Circuit schedule of rodeos.

“Let’s get the arena ready and we’ll be set,” a motivated Daniel Beard said earlier this week. “They’re putting the bleachers in as we speak.”

Beard, of course, is part owner of Summit Pro Rodeo, which is providing the stock once again at the Roundup.

The saddle bronc pen is, “just about as solid of a set I could put together,” he said. “A bunch of them were at the Rocky Mountain Circuit Finals. And it’s a pretty great set of bulls. They’ve been pretty outstanding so far.”

The bulls bucked in Toppenish during Fourth of July weekend and were in Laramie, Wyo. earlier this month.

The stock aren’t the only stars in the arena. Kittitas County will have 15 contestants competing with ties to Ellensburg.

A handful of those contestants will find themselves in tie-down roping. The event has seven Ellensburg ropers entered, including the circuit’s second-ranked roper, Kass Kayser. Four of the circuit’s top 10 tie-down ropers are in Cle Elum, with winnings from Cle Elum counting toward the season standings where athletes can qualify for the end of season finals in Redmond, Ore., this fall.

Ropers Jordan Tye and Jason Minor are also entered in tie-down roping and the two team together in team roping. There’s a good chance they’ll battle it out for the rodeo’s All-Around distinction as well.

Cle Elum will also host breakaway roping, which it did as an amateur rodeo, but hasn’t since it became a professional rodeo four years ago. Janey Reeves, who won the Ellensburg 5 Header breakaway in May, is in Cle Elum, as is the circuit’s third ranked breakaway roper, Kiley Duby and sisters Bailey Patterson and Annie Minor, who are both ranked in the top 10 of the circuit’s standings.

The purse should continue to grow as well, nearing $25,000 paid out to contestants over the course of two evening performances and a Saturday slack.

Beard said the Roundup is nearly sold out both evenings (there is no admission for slack), even with the addition of more seating around the arena this year. Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance. Friday and Saturday’s evening performances begin at 6 p.m., with Saturday’s slack at 9 a.m. All performances are at the Washington State Horse Park in Cle Elum.

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