When Cash Toews mounted bull 43E on Friday night at the Abbyville Frontier Days Rodeo, he knew he was going to win. Although this was his first professional rodeo, he was confident he would stay on the bull — and he did.


Toews, 19, from Canton, was the only bull rider, of the dozen participants from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, who stayed on his bull for the designated time.


Along with bronco riders and steer wrestling, the show included team roping, breakaway roping, tie down roping and barrel racing. Cale Markham and Cody Doescher, both from Oklahoma, used solid teamwork to walk away with the team roping category on Friday.


Because of COVID-19, rodeos across the country were shut down until recently. Participants drove in from neighboring states, as well as New Mexico, South Dakota and Texas, including a two time Olympian, Jerome Schneeber of Ponca City, Oklahoma and several college and national champions.


Onlookers came from further away to attend this outdoor event, including several from California, the Philippines, South Africa and Virginia.


"I was really happy to be here," said Cheryl Miller of Hutchinson. "It’s great to get back to normal, and this is one of the great traditions in America."


Miller has attended the rodeo for more than two decades. She was also excited to see old friends and support law enforcement by wearing blue on the rodeo’s support law enforcement evening. Miss Rodeo Kansas, Tiffany McCaffrey, from Hays agreed.


"It’s so good to be back rodeoing," McCaffrey said.


McCaffrey was the 2018 Miss Rodeo Fort Hays State, where she represented her college at rodeo events. Abbyville was the first rodeo she attended with that title.


Along with Miss Rodeo Kansas and Miss Rodeo Nebraska and Oklahoma, the crowd was entertained by little ones riding sheep and the jokes and antics of barrelman and rodeo clown, Matt Tarr, who grew up on a ranch in Wyoming. At one point, Tarr had the little ones running around the arena with one shoe.


Many participants timed out, fell off their horse or bull, or knocked over a barrel, but they all gave it their best, including six-year-old Paityn Wente of Turon, who demonstrated her skill in barrel racing,


But the star of the evening, was Toews. With a score of 78, he walked out a winner.


"The bull just kind of flew up in the air," Toews said. "I expect myself to win and do good. I try to be positive."