Rodeo fans wrestled with heavy winds on the final day of the Tucson Rodeo. Despite the chilly temperatures, rodeo officials say more than 9,000 fans showed up to watch the finals on Sunday.
The gusty winds had fans holding on to their hats, many of them sat wrapped up in blankets, sipping hot chocolate as they watched the world's best cowboys and cowgirls attempt to break records in the arena.
Colorado's Tyler Smith won the bull riding competition, one of his first big wins on the circuit.
"It's a little tough. The wind, it's cold on your muscles but it sure feels good right now to win," said Smith.
Texas cowboy Jeremy Melancon won the Saddle Bronc riding event, he said the weather posed a challenge earlier in the week.
"Apparently when it snowed the ground got really wet and sticky, so it was tough for the horses, they couldn't really get out," said Melancon.
For bull riding rodeo clown Dusty Tuckness, his first visit to Tucson was a memorable one.
"This is my first year in Tucson and I saw everything. Rain, snow, sleet, sun, cold, and now the wind," said Tuckness.
As bull riders held on tight to stay put, and the barrel racing horses ran like the wind, fans in the crowd struggled to hold on to their hats. We saw many a hat flying off heads with a small gust of wind.
Vendors who sold cowboy hats found creative ways to hold on to their products. One vendor had his hats tied down, using a volleyball net. Hat vendor Dennis Wells said he had also found a way to make sure his cowboy hat didn't' fly off his head.
"I wear mine real tight. This hat would give most people a headache I have it on so tight," said Wells.
Bill Schurg, chairman of the Tucson Rodeo said throughout the week more than 50,000 fans came out to enjoy the Rodeo.
Thanks to ticket sales, Schurg said the committee would be donating more than $200,000 to various charities and scholarship funds in the area.
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