Monroeton resident and saddle bronc rider Chad Alesky is gearing up for Monroeton's first ever rodeo to be hosted on Sept. 8 at Mountaineer Park.

Alesky, who has been competing in rodeos across the country since 1992, said he is looking forward to the event because it is an opportunity to compete close to home. Alesky said over the last few years he is traveling to less rodeos due to increased demand at his farm, Quarter Acre Farm, and an increase in gas prices that has subtracted too much from his winnings.

However, he still attends some events each year and Alesky is sure to be one of the home town favorites in an exhibition that organizer Merle Bair said will bring competitors from multiple states.

"I'm excited to be able to ride so close to home," Alesky said, "I am looking forward to the event."

Alesky described the sport as something that many can do but not many can master.

"There is a lot more that goes into a good run than people would think," he explained.

"Rhythm and timing is key to getting a good score from the judges," who he said score rides based on technique and difficulty.

Riders are tasked with attempting to stay on a bucking horse or bull for eight seconds in order to complete a full run and be scored.

To add further difficulty, the riders do not know which animal they will be riding during competition until the day of the event, according to Alesky.

"Horses are like people, each have their own personality," he said. Not knowing what the animal will do when the gate opens is one of the biggest thrills in the sport, Alesky said.

Bair, who is organizing the event on behalf of the Monroe Hose Company, is looking forward to the event in hopes of creating an annual exhibition that will not only bring entertainment for the community but raise funds each year for the fire department.

The gates will open at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8 and feature the Natural High Band from 10 a.m. until noon, kids events for children between the ages of three to 12 and a large selection of animals and riders ready to give it their all for eight seconds at a time.

The rodeo itself is hosted by the Rawhide Rodeo Company and is presented by All American Rodeo, a venture created by Sam Swearingen in 1987 committed to preserving rodeo traditions and dedicated to improving the sport for the next generation.

Seven events will be featured during the rodeo; bull riding, steer wrestling, bare back bronc, saddle back bronc, calf roping, team calf roping and cowgirl barrel racing.

Multiple vendors will have stands set up selling an assortment of items during the one day event.

Tickets are currently available for purchase at a number of businesses in Bradford County and online at www.monroetonrodeo.com.

The prices are $10 for adults if purchased prior to the event or $12 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 5-15 cost $4 if pre-purchased and $6 at the gate. Senior citizens 62 and older will be able to purchase tickets for $8 at the gate with photo ID to confirm age. Also, a group of 50 people or more are able to purchase tickets at 10 percent off sale prices.

Bair asked that those in attendance bring lawn chairs, as a large crowd could limit bleacher seat availability.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: tzyla@thedailyreview.com.