Iowa Air National Guard Return First 2017 American Flag Flown on a Military Mission for Barnes PRCA Rodeo

The story behind the American flags on the bucking chutes

Cherokee, Iowa – Patriotism is at the core of each Barnes PRCA Rodeo production. The Iowa-based stock contracting company is known for paying respect to the United States Armed Forces during their rodeo performances. American flags are flown over the bucking chutes and during the grand entry along with service branch flags representing the United States Armed Forces presented on horseback. Old Glory’s presence continues to be a signature element on the bucking chutes at every Barnes PRCA Rodeo across the country.

“My dad was a Marine who served in Korea and I was raised in a very patriotic way. Rodeo is a true American sport. The American flag represents the strength and unity of our great country. Since I was in Kindergarten I can remember the American flags flying over our (Barnes’) bucking chutes,” explained Marty Barnes, on the importance of the American flag at his rodeos.

This year Barnes PRCA Rodeo purchased new American flags. They are replacing each of their existing American flags with ones flown on a military mission. Jacob Bossman, Regional Director for Senator Grassley helped facilitate the introduction to the Iowa Air National Guard 185th Air Refueling Wing‎ in Sioux City.

Rodeo fans will enjoy hearing the journey behind the American flags as the rodeo announcer provides detail throughout the performance. Each American flag will be flown as Old Glory and presented on horseback for the national anthem. Each time a new mission American flag is received the preceding one will be placed on the bucking chutes.

The first flag was flown on January 20, 2017, aboard a 185th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker over the skies of Missouri during an air-to-air refueling mission in support of the Global War on Terrorism on Inauguration Day. On this mission, the KC-135 and crew offloaded approximately 20,000 pounds of fuel to 10 A-10’s.

About Barnes PRCA Rodeo: Established in 1950, Barnes PRCA Rodeo from Peterson, Iowa continues to be a premier livestock contracting company and member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. Marty Barnes, the eldest son of the late Bob and Donita Barnes, manages all aspects of the livestock, rodeo production and breeding program.
The Rafter B Bar brand is synonymous with Barnes PRCA Rodeo and quality rodeo productions. The athletic talent of the bucking horses, bulls and saddle horses are award winning. Notably CAT Power was selected nine consecutive times from 2005-2013 to the WNFR. In 1977 Crystal Springs was named the PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year. The foundation sire Boy Ballou continues to influence the breeding program today. He made five trips to the National Finals Rodeo.
Today the second and third generations of Barnes family handle the day-to-day operations on the ranch and provide for the health and welfare of 165 bucking horses and 70 bulls. The longevity of Barnes PRCA Rodeo is captured in the marketplace across the Midwest where community celebrations dating back 40, 50 and 60 years are continuous partners.
Sixty-seven years ago, Barnes PRCA Rodeo was founded with the guiding principles of integrity and hard work. Bob Barnes was known as “the Colonel”,” and today is still one of the most respected stockman in professional rodeo. He was selected as the 1984 PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year and inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1994. Donita Barnes was posthumously awarded the inaugural PRCA Lifetime Achievement Award for contract personnel at the PRCA award banquet in 2011. The PRCA Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed in her honor in 2012.