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Escalon Boasts Rodeo Connection

You don't have to live in Oakdale to enjoy the annual Oakdale PRCA Rodeo ... just ask Billy Jones of Escalon.

The lifelong Escalon resident currently serves as vice president of the Oakdale Saddle Club, which puts on the annual rodeo, and he has been in the club since he was four years old.

"Right now I'm running security," Jones said of his work this year for the annual rodeo.

He said it was a pretty low-key crowd for the 2009 edition of the rodeo, but admitted that other factors can figure in to how people behave from year to year.

"The weather and the year, the more people you get, the more problems you could have," he said.

Jones also serves as a Saddle Club director, so he is very busy at rodeo time and throughout the year, helping coordinate other activities that occur at the Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds on the east side of Oakdale.

Though he loves the sport, Jones actually gets to see very little of the Oakdale event, since he is busy handling security issues and making sure everyone there is having a good, safe time. He said from all reports, however, this year was a good one.

"Excellent," he said. "There was good competition, the stock was good and there were a lot of happy rodeo fans. The weather was perfect and it was a good, mellow crowd."

Jones, his wife Stacy and their two sons have six horses and the boys are active in Junior Rodeo. Austin, 14, attends El Portal and Clayton, 11, is at Dent. They are scheduled to compete later this month at the La Grange Junior Rodeo.

Jones does some roping and, if he had the chance, said he would like to try bull riding and team roping in actual rodeo competition.

"I just enjoy rodeo in general," Jones said. "Plus we're involved in it as a family, that makes it nice."