BURBANK, Ohio – As a breeder, Denny Thorsell wanted to showcase his stock. And that showcase he started five years ago, called Buckin’ Ohio, has turned into a famous family rodeo event in northern Ohio.
The Thorsell family has modeled their event after real western rodeos, like the ones where son Shawn used to ride bulls in Texas.
“They were held on working ranches, with cattle around. We figured we could do that, too,” Denny says.
Their atmosphere is the real deal. Visitors to Creek Bend Ranch near Burbank, just around the corner from the Lodi Prime Outlets, park in the front pasture. Horse-drawn shuttles haul visitors from the pasture to the Thorsell’s rodeo arena for a two-hour performance.
“We didn’t feel people [around here] were getting a good image of the rodeo sport or the bucking bull industry, yet they would flock to whatever [rodeo] they could find,” Eileen Thorsell says.
And now, with the help of local cowboys and cowgirls, the more than 2,000 people who pack the arena for each event can see and understand bullriding, barrel racing and rodeo clowns.
“We try to build a fan base for the [cowboys] who come here. We appreciate getting the best bullriders we can; it makes for a darned good show.”
Still to come
There are still two more Buckin’ Ohio performances this summer.
The Thorsells will take their show to the Wayne County Fairgrounds Aug. 25, and then will be back at the Burbank farm Sept. 15.
Gates open at 5 p.m. for all events. Mutton bustin’ competition for children begins at 6 p.m., and bullriding kicks off at 7 p.m.
Admission is $5 for children 6-12 and $10 for adults. Food is available at the ranch.
The farm is at 8154 Garman Road, Burbank, less than a mile from Exit 204, state Route 83.
For more information, call 1-866-RODEO-OH or click on BuckinOhio.com.
(Reporter Andrea Zippay welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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