Photo: “Yaqui” Ordunez and Carl Koontz barely miss a catch during the team roping event at Prescott’s rodeo, 1922 (courtesy Sharlot Hall Museum Research Center, call number rod101.1pa)
Next month, a new exhibition will open at the Sharlot Hall Museum to celebrate Prescott’s rich rodeo heritage and the 50th anniversary of the Steve McQueen film “Junior Bonner.” The exhibit will open to the public on Saturday, June 18.
Prescott has a long and colorful history of rodeo. This year, rodeo fans from around the world will once again join the town’s annual celebration of its western heritage, Prescott Frontier Days®. The World’s Oldest Rodeo® sits as the jewel in this crown and continues to enthrall both young and old with its displays of ranch-style thrill and skill.
“Junior Bonner,” released in 1972 and starring Steve McQueen, brought The World’s Oldest Rodeo® to the big screen. The story follows a rodeo cowboy (McQueen) who returns to his hometown of Prescott for the rodeo, with the self-set task of overcoming an ornery bull named Sunshine.
The Sharlot Hall Museum’s exhibit traces the Prescott area’s rodeo history and tells the saga of filming “Junior Bonner,” featuring stories by locals who participated in the making of the film, including location manager William Pierce and screenwriter Jeb Rosebrook, whose Arizona childhood memories inspired the story.
See the exhibit for yourself when it opens to the public on Saturday, June 18. For more information, visit the Museum’s website at www.sharlothallmuseum.org. Follow the exhibit’s creation journey and stay up-to-date with the latest news through the Museum’s online newsletter and social channels.
The Sharlot Hall Museum, located two blocks west of Prescott’s Courthouse Plaza, is one of Arizona’s premier history museums. Its four-acre campus tells Arizona’s story through exhibits, gardens, and historic buildings, including the 1864 Territorial Governor’s Mansion. Events and programs include the annual Prescott Indian Art Market, monthly Living History Adventure days, and more.