Third Annual Ride for Clyde Junior Rodeo happening October 1 as benefit
◆ Registration to ride opens and closes this week. This year’s event is at Cokeville Rodeo Grounds.
Rodeo fans throughout Lincoln County are gathering in Cokeville, Saturday, October 1 for the late-season, Third Annual Junior Rodeo, Ride for Clyde. Events begin at 9 a.m. and include a lineup of contests that demonstrate skill and will in young cowboys and cowgirls, who will compete for buckles and swag in honor of Clyde Heiner, who lost his life in an accident the summer of 2020.
At the passing of their toddler son, Tre and Olivia Heiner, experienced a heartbreak that they had never known, but in the wake of their tragedy, they also experienced the faithful and devoted support of loving family and friends, and an outpouring of compassion from the community. At that time, friends of Olivia determined to organize an event for the Heiners, in memory of their son and to rally around the young couple in their grief, and so, Ride for Clyde was born.
“It was held on Halloween that first year,” smiled Olivia, in a recent interview with SVI News. “Kids dressed up in their costumes, and it was seriously the sunniest Halloween that we’ve ever had, that I ever remember, in this part of Wyoming. It was a beautiful day. It was a great turn out and just such a special day seeing all these kids come to rodeo to remember Clyde.”
The rodeo was a huge success and such a positive experience for those involved, that the committee decided to make Ride for Clyde an annual event, and Ride for Clyde in 2021 was just as successful and meaningful as the first. But this year, for the third annual rodeo, things are different.
“This year, we are doing it, still in honor of Clyde, but we are doing it in a benefit for someone else,” explained Olivia. “Every year, we are going to do it in benefit for a person or an organization that we just feel passionate about. This year, it’s in benefit for 12-year- old, Porter Hulme. His dad is a native to Bear Lake, so, in our area. Porter was in a bad car accident in May. The vehicle was on top of him. His brother, and some others traveling by helped lift the vehicle off him. They didn’t know if he was going to make it, didn’t know if he would ever walk again, if he would be paralyzed because he broke some bones in his back. He is going to be able to walk again, and he is home from the hospital, but he was there for a very long time with lots of physical therapy. He’s just this cute, young cowboy. He has a lot of challenges ahead.”
Horse trainers by trade, the Hulme family now faces a mountain of medical bills, and the bills will continue as Porter walks the long road of recovery. Those who are interested can follow the Hulme Ranch on Facebook to learn more about Porter’s story and the family’s experience.
“They are more than deserving of the proceeds of the rodeo,” shared Olivia. “All donations, all proceeds from swag and gear, all of that is going to the Hulme family.”
Hosted by the Cokeville Stock and Saddle Company at the Cokeville Rodeo Grounds, events are tentatively scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Depending on entry numbers, that time may need to be adjusted earlier, but the plan at this point is for 9 a.m. Food and apparel vendors will be on site. Fans can preorder gear by visiting rideforclyde.com. Again, all proceeds go to Hulme Family.
Young cowpokes wishing to participate in the rodeo can also find a list of events and a registration link at the website. Registration is now open and closes September 23 at 8 p.m.
When asked what it means to her and Tre to have the community remember Clyde in this way, Olivia’s voice became thick with emotion. “It’s pretty special. The last two years, these days have been the best days of my whole year. I think one of the biggest fears of a parent who has lost a child is them being forgotten and, like, kids their age kind of forgetting about them, when they would be here running around with them and being their friend. And so, to see everybody come out in memory of him has been a huge strength to us. To see all these kids remembering Clyde and wearing stuff that says, ‘Ride for Clyde’ and looking at his picture and winning buckles that say ‘Ride for Clyde’ or winning a rope bag that has ‘Ride for Clyde’ embroidered on it, things like that, mean so much. It just means a lot to help keep his memory alive and we are so excited this year to do it to benefit someone else. We know that money doesn’t heal hearts or wounds – in Porter’s case, wounds – But it can sure help take a lot of stress off of these parents and off of his family. That has added more meaning to it this year, doing it in benefit for somebody else. That’s been a cool aspect to bring to it.”
Olivia is so grateful to the crew that puts this event on each year. They give a tremendous amount of time and energy to make Ride for Clyde a success and it means a great deal to the Heiners.
“We would love to see your support in Cokeville, whether you are a rodeo fan or not,” she added. “It’s going to be a fun day and we look forward to seeing you there!”