Cattlemen rodeo begins tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

Messenger Intern

According to BB Palmer, approximately 300 cowboys and cowgirls are saddling up for two nights of roping, riding and barrel racing. A $7 ticket in advance or $10 at the gate for adults and $4 in advance or $6 at the gate for children will buy you a night’s full of entertainment for family and friends.

One set of cowboys and cowgirls come in to ride on Friday night and a completely different set on Saturday night, so every one has their chance to show off their rodeo skills. Performers are traveling to Troy from all over the southeast: Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana and North Carolina. Also in performance will be Troy State University rodeo program students, high school students and the new TSU rodeo coach, Rick Jones.

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Activities will include bareback riding, calf roping, barrel racing and breakaway roping. A team of women rodeo riders will be roping and barrel racing also. Rudy Burns will travel from his home in Mississippi to be the rodeo clown, providing laughs for the crowd. Eight vendors will have booths set up, selling hats, T-shirts, buckles and other paraphernalia. Concession stands complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and other snacks will open up each night at 6 p.m., before the actual rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m., so that those wishing to eat may do so before or during the show.

Children may enjoy special activities each night such as a calf scramble. This consists of an arena full of calves running with ribbons on their tails, while children "scramble" to retrieve the ribbons. Also, for those children 4 or 5 years old, sheep will be made available to ride, so that each child can get a feel of being a cowboy-or "sheep" boy.

Adults will also have special activities of their own – -a boot race. Each adult takes off their boots and piles them in the center of the arena. Then, each adult will have to race to the pile, find their boots, put them back on and make it back to the starting line as quickly as possible.

"We’ve got some of the best cowboys in the southeast coming down for this rodeo. Even the 1994 World Champion Calf Roper will be here. Most of these cowboys and cowgirls just do it on weekends, but they’re good enough to be full time.

"We do about 100 rodeos a year and this is our tenth rodeo in Troy. Our goal is to be the best Professional Cowboy Association east of the Mississippi River." Mr. Palmer said.