Rodeos Bullied By Higher Costs

Friday, January 16th 2009, 11:06 pm

By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLHAOMA CITY -- Rodeo enthusiasts from around the world came to Oklahoma City, as Cowboys kicked off the International Finals Rodeo, but being in the Rodeo business has become harder the past few years.

Feeding the bulls and the horses is Dennis Morris's daily morning ritual. He is a livestock contractor, a rodeo pickup man, and a world champion from Tennessee.

Fellow cowboy, Dale Yerigan, knows the rising cost of feed and hay are taking a toll on the business.

"It's put a burden on all of our contestants," Yerigan said.

Morris said the price of bails have gone from a little more than a dollar to about $4.

The preferred alfalfa has jumped well over 50 percent in the last few years, which can be a huge impact on one's budget, especially for Yerigan who owns 30 bulls and several horses.

"We probably feed way over a ton a week," Morris said. "I know people who have folded their business up because of the economy."

Morris said he'll fight until the end to prevent losing his bulls.

Fuel costs and droughts over the past few summers are responsible for the high prices.

Ticket sales for the IFR are steady due to discount coupons and family bargains.


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