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DATE 1 Oct. 2010


This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete County Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

NEW ARENA IN SANPETE COUNTY, UTAH Getting Ready to Host Rodeos, Concerts, Races, & Equestrian Tours

By Christian Probasco For the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area

MT. PLEASANT—A new event center in Sanpete County passed an important milestone in August with a major bull riding exhibition.

Local officials are ready to expand the center’s facilities so they will be able to handle any arena-based event that any sports organization can steer their way.

The ConToy Arena in Mt. Pleasant, Utah held its first major event—a bull riding exhibition—in August of 2010. The arena has several competitions scheduled for winter and spring, including bull riding, archery team roping and cow cutting. The next step for the center’s expansion will be the addition of horse stalls and RV hookups. Photographs by Christian Probasco

During the well-attended Cowboy Expo. and “Bull Riding Blowout” held at the ConToy Arena on Aug. 14, professional riders tried to stay on top of ill-tempered critters provided by the newly formed Western States Bucking Bull Association.

`The purpose of the event was to demonstrate how well the association bulls could buck, jump, spin and otherwise misbehave to potential buyers, rodeo talent scouts and the world at large. The objective was achieved, with riders being flung to every corner of the arena, and in one case being rolled over by a bull that weighed as much as a compact car. Only three participants made it to the eight second mark. Announcer Wacey Allred complained that it was “raining cowboys.”

City councilman Reed Thomas, who organized the event and has raised cattle for decades, was himself surprised by the bulls’ uncouth behavior.

“Those really were some rank bulls,” he marveled weeks after the show. Outside of expositions, the arena is being utilized by several local organizations. Wasatch Academy, a boarding school in Mt. Pleasant, leases it for its equestrian program. A drug treatment facility uses it for

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