2015: Big award year for Spanish Fork Rodeo

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Spanish Fork celebrates all-American traditions at Spanish Fork Fiesta Days.

A barrel racer participates in the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo.

Several best rodeo awards made 2015 a big year for the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo.

“This year Fiesta Days got some outstanding awards,” Steve Money, rodeo director, fairgrounds manager and events coordinator for Spanish Fork, told the Spanish Fork city council earlier this month.

First off, there was the one it got in Heber in November — the 2015 Ram Wilderness Circuit Finals Utah Large Rodeo of the Year.

Then in December, it got two big awards during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Fiesta Days earned the Justin Best Footing Award for the Wilderness Circuit (Utah and Idaho) from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, which has to do with the dirt in the rodeo arena.

“This is kind of a huge award,” said Jeff Nelson, president of the Diamond Fork Riding Club and rodeo committee member.

According to the WPRA, the award recognizes rodeos that have “put forth extra effort to ensure their rodeo had the safest, most consistent ground conditions throughout the entire rodeo. This in turn ensures a safe and level playing field for the barrel racing contestants and their horses.”

Then, to top it off, was the award that Money calls “really phenomenal” — Rodeo of the Year from the WPRA.

“We were the No. 1 rodeo in the whole thing,” he said. “That was huge for us.”

This year’s will be the 74th year of the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo. Tickets are already available for the rodeo — July 21, 22, 23 and 25 — and the last 40 events have sold out. It features bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and more. For more information or to buy tickets, go to spanishfork.org.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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