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Featured at the Rodeo

John Payne, The One Arm Bandit

One armed bandit

The 15-time PRCA Specialty Act of the Year, John Payne the One Arm Bandit is a legend in the Western world and is coming to the Horse Heaven Round-Up. His one-of-a-kind show features horses, cattle, buffalo, mules, and zebras.

The notorious One Arm Bandit was born to a rancher in the oil-rich town of Shidler, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1953. When John was twenty, thinking the electricity had been shut off, he climbed up a telephone pole to cut some wires. The problem was he was dead wrong about the status of the wires. Without warning, 7,200 volts of electricity ran through his entire body for an unbearable 10 seconds. It burnt through the fingers of his right hand, and he fell to his death.

He was brought back to life but was in bad shape. The electricity exited through his body through his abdomen, leaving his intestines protruding. The voltage had burnt through his left leg as well, exposing his thigh bone from his knee several inches up. Despite the massive electrocution, he survived. The doctors wanted to cut John’s left leg off, but he told them, “I can’t ride a horse with one leg, and if I can’t ride a horse, then I don’t want to live.” However, the doctors cut off his right arm because it was completely burnt.

Miss Rodeo America 2023 Kennadee Riggs

Kennadee Riggs was crowned as Miss Rodeo America 2023 in December at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Having grown up under the western skies of Queen Creek, Arizona, Kennadee has carried on the legacy of her cowgirl bloodlines as a member of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation while working for the Arizona Farm Bureau and Cowboy Lifestyle Network.

Prior to being selected, the 22-year-old daughter of Don and Shanda Riggs represented the Grand Canyon State as Miss Rodeo Arizona 2022. She served an 18-month church mission in Brazil, Arizona, and Oklahoma, and is currently a student at Arizona State University pursuing journalism. She enjoys teaching horsemanship lessons, as well as volunteering as an instructor teaching English and Portuguese to Brazilians in weekly classes. Her passion of “Kicking Up Kindness” is reflected in The Kindness Journal Podcast. Kennadee encourages everyone to perform acts of kindness in their everyday lives.

During her reign as the official representative of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Kennadee will travel approximately 40,000 miles and appear at nearly 150 rodeo performances, as well as making appearances at schools, civic groups, and other special events in order to educate the public and create awareness about the sport of rodeo, its sponsors, and its opportunities.

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