Meet the Rodeo: Freedom Rodeo & Old Cowhand Reunion

by Rodeo News

story by Siri Stevens

This is the 79th year of this celebration in the town of Freedom, located 25 miles west and three miles south of Alva, Okla. An old cowhand is selected every year, and they are honored at the chuck wagon feed held Saturday at noon.
“The first cowhand was a woman, Lucy Snap,” said Shan Wilson, rodeo committee member and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce, who produces the rodeo. “It used to be cowhands only, but the person is selected based on their involvement with the community as well – they just honored a guy that owned the meat locker, who has worked every end of the cattle pots, and was such an asset to the community.”
The three day event (August 18-20) includes a junior rodeo, which is how the rodeo started 79 years ago. Freedom, Okla., 25 miles west and three miles south of Alva, used to be infested with screw worms. The local area ranchers along with of a bunch of help came in to work on this. Once the screw worms were under control, and there was a little extra time, they started as a junior rodeo to get the kids competing. The Brad Shaw family started it, and the family still has a CD in the bank that provides the funding to give buckles for the junior barrel racer and the junior calf roper each year. The junior rodeo takes place during the rodeo.
This is the first year for the rodeo to be a KPRA rodeo. “This switch will help us give back to the local contestants that will be able to enter,” said Shan.

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