Gates to the 2022 Gerry Rodeo now open – Spectrum News


GERRY, N.Y. — From barrel racing to bronco riding, the 77th Gerry Volunteer Fireman’s Rodeo is back for a second year since the event was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A capacity crowd on opening night Wednesday cheered on more than 200 cowboys and cowgirls from across New York state, the nation and the world, hoping to rope a share of more than $50,000 in prize money.

They’re cowboys like Carmine Nastri, of Ballston Spa, New York in Saratoga County, one of the most decorated rodeo athletes, who competes in the tie down and team roping, as well as the all-around.

Before the show, Carmine tests and powders his ropes to keep them dry.

“This is one of my favorite rodeos,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of success here and this is one of our biggest rodeos in the Northeast circuit.”

Carmine has been taking part in the Gerry Rodeo for 40 years, and is number 12 in the 2022 circuit standings.

He took the last couple of years off after getting two new hips, but is now back in the saddle and heading to the arena to ride in the grand entry.

“It’s like the kickoff to me,” said Carmine. “It makes my heart pump and gets you ready to compete. It means it’s rodeo time.”

After the grand entry, the first half of competition gets underway.

Carmine helps out his fellow competitors in the shoot before his event which is right after intermission.

“Huge excitement for us every year,” said Tom Atwell, Gerry Rodeo chairman. “To bring the western heritage and western life style back to the Western New York for everybody in state to see.”

Atwell says proceeds help pay for equipment and maintenance for the volunteer fire department, as the rodeo is its only fundraiser of the year.

“It’s very much appreciated, everybody coming out supporting us,” he said. “This is our way of them helping us help them.”

Though Carmine’s time wasn’t fast enough to lasso any prize money opening night, he says he’s still happy with his adrenaline filled performance.

“I made a good catch,” he said. “Got off my horse good. Got him flanked and tied good. I just used too much time running down the arena.”

Carmine will compete each night, as the rodeo wraps up Saturday.


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