In the 1960s, 4-H became a great way to get youth involved in club activities and fill their time with different projects. Rich Ping started a club in Blunt for his son, Dave Ping, and other kids to join.
On July 20, 1970, the Lariat Riding Club of Blunt along with the County 4-H Extension agents of Hughes and Sully Counties produced the Blunt 4-H Rodeo. Dave Ping won the first bull riding title that day, and started a family tradition that would continue on for fifty years at the Blunt 4-H Rodeo.
The future would see Dave’s son, Travis Ping, compete in 4-H rodeos. He also won a bull riding title at the Blunt 4-H Rodeo. The third rodeoing-generation of the Ping family would continue on the winning tradition. Travis Ping’s son, Talon Ping, would eventually be crowned the Blunt 4-H Rodeo Bull Riding Champion. Talon and his sister, Lanie Ping, are both currently participating in 4-H rodeos, and will be contestants in this year’s 50th Annual Blunt 4-H Rodeo.
The contestants aren’t the only ones who pass their love of rodeo on, donating time and elbow grease. Lee and Punky Bourk of Blunt were instrumental in the start of Blunt’s Lariat Riding Club and the 4-H rodeo. Their son, Keith Bourk, and granddaughter, Lizzy Bourk, are both past competitors and active members today. The Bourks work to produce the annual 4-H rodeo.
Erv and LaFola Korkow, with the help of their son Jim, also helped lay the foundation of Blunt’s Lariat Riding Club and the 4-H rodeo. Their great-granddaughter, Chesley Clair, will be the second generation of the Korkow/Clair family to get to compete in the Blunt 4-H Rodeo. Clair will be following her mom’s footsteps of competing in and now helping with the rodeo. Many families in the Blunt area chip in to make the rodeo a success every year.
Sponsors are another tradition that have helped keep the Blunt 4-H Rodeo alive for fifty years. Many local businesses donate yearly to help pay for awards. The top four contestants in each event earn an award, ranging from buckles for first place to horse tack for second through fourth. Saddles are being given to the All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl this year in honor of the 50th anniversary thanks to generous sponsors. Donors are necessary and much appreciated.
The 50th Annual Blunt 4-H Rodeo will be July 20-21. It will start at 9:30 a.m. CT each day. There will be no charge for admittance at the gate. Concessions will be available.