Arizona Cowpuncher’s Reunion Association
In the 1970’s a group of cowboys from Northern and Central Arizona came up with the idea of having
a “Working Cowboy’s Rodeo” similar to the rodeos that some of them had participated in during the
1920’s – 1940’s. In October of 1978 the first “Old-time Cowboy’s Reunion Rodeo” was held in Flagstaff
at the Avery’s Kowboy Kountry Klub Arena north of Flagstaff. The events were wild and included mustang
roping, big loop contest, and tie down team roping. At that time Broncs were mugged, saddled, and then
rode in the arena. The following year the date was changed to August so more cowboys could attend before
the Fall Works started. The reunion rodeo remained an annual event at Avery’s until it burned down during
the winter of 1980-81.
In order to maintain the special purpose of this rodeo and retain its original purpose, some of the cowboys
involved from the beginning formed the Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Association in 1982-83. Officers and
committees were formed and those who joined paid annual dues and were given a membership number. A committee
was formed to screen applications for membership. Members were limited to those working on ranches, or
retired from ranch work but still maintained a close relationship with ranching. The location of the
rodeo was moved to Williams, AZ where it remained until 1992. From 1993 to 1996 it was held in
Flagstaff, AZ. In 1997 it returned to Williams where it is still held today.
The idea of the annual reunion rodeo was to perpetuate the camaraderie of the working cowboy, his family,
and close associates involved in the livestock industry. The rodeo events were unique, and based on
daily activities done on working cattle and horse ranches. No bull riding was held, and Bronc riders
used their everyday stock saddles. Events were designed so that all ages could compete and be involved
in the rodeo. Events included were, and still are, the Wild Horse Race, Wild Cow Milking, Cowboy Bronc
Riding, Steer Riding, Dally Calf Roping, Team Tying, Ribbon Roping, and many more team roping events for
the whole family.
The association, and annual rodeo, is still much the same today. Over the years with new officers and
board members changes have been made. Events and rules may change slightly, but the basis for the rodeo
still remains the same. It is truly a reunion of working ranch cowboys, ranching families, and others
involved in the livestock industry.