Parsons Family Brings Rodeo Fun To NWA For 70 Years

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In 1944, a Springdale farmer and businessman decided he wanted to give back to his community--- that man was named Shortie Parson.

Seventy years after the first cowboys roped and rode on the Parsons property, Shortie's daughter Pat sat down with 5NEWS to tell the story of the stadium.

Pat Hutter said she was ten years old when her dad decided to honor those soldiers coming back from World War II.

"He wanted to do something for the city, because the war was over and the soldiers were coming back home," Hutter said, "He wanted to have a big homecoming, so he thought that would be real good."

She said the first rodeo was nothing more than a bunch of family and friends gathering to ride and rope.

"It was more of a wild west show than a rodeo the first year, because he kind of got the stock wherever he could get it," Shortie's daughter said, "They put a wire fence around the arena."

Hutter said when her father Shortie decided to become a rodeo king, he involved the whole family.

"That's when he said now Trisha, you are going to ride a horse or walk, because you're not going to ride your bicycle," She said, "So that's when I decided I would ride."

The three-time Rodeo Of the Ozarks Queen said once her dad made me swap her wheels for a horse, she didn't hang up her spurs for 50 years.

"He was such a role model, " Hutter said, "I was daddy's girl, and when I knew he was going anywhere, I would try to beat him to the truck."

Hutter competitively barrel raced for decades. The eighty-year-old said she hasn't been on a horse in quite some time, but said she plans to get back in the saddle for the 80 year anniversary for the Rodeo Of The Ozarks.

She said her father passed away in 1989 with the wish of one day seeing the roof closed.

Hutter is a member of the rodeo board and said they have made a plan to enclose Parsons Stadium by 2019.