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Rodeo opens Friday night

Once again it's rodeo time in Pike County.

The 11th Annual Pike County Cattlemen's Professional Cowboy Association Championship Rodeo is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24.

The Memorial Day weekend rodeo has become a tradition in Pike County and hundreds are expected to pack the arena at Cattleman Park for this much-anticipated event.

The rodeo will feature some of the best professional cowboys and cowgirls to ride rodeo. The events include bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, ladies barrels, team roping and bull riding.

There will also be an opportunity for the kids to get their boots dusty and to try their hand at wrangling. Kids fill the arena for the calf scramble and it's a highly contested event as the little ones go all out to snag a ribbon from a calf.

The youngsters, who were named winners in the Little Miss and Mr. Rodeo contest, will be presented at the grand entry each night. Local "cowboys" are invited to ride their horses - or mules and donkeys - in the Rodeo Grand Entry.

B.B. Palmer, Cattlemen publicity chairman, said this year's rodeo promises to have all of the excitement and fun of past rodeos.

"We want the rodeo to be as entertaining as it can be," Palmer said. "That's why we bring in the best rodeo clowns we can get, because what's a rodeo without a clown. This year we have Bill McEnaney coming to entertain. He's one of the best."

Bill McEnaney has become a name synonymous with professional rodeo entertainment.

"Bill's career spans more than 40 years and includes performances at nearly every major stock show and rodeo in the United States," Palmer said.

McEnaney began his career in the pro ranks as a trick rider, roman rider and trick roper.

"In the past 15 years, he combined his talents and added a new twist," Palmer said. "Bill added comedy to his routine and that brings a lot of fun and laughter to his performance."

Palmer said McEnaney is a natural comedian and his athletic ability provides a new avenue to entertain rodeo crowds.

McEnaney continues to work the East Coast winter rodeos for the Nashville, Tenn. based Longhorn Rodeo Company. The remainder of the season, he performs throughout the Eastern United States.

The rodeo clown lives in Rossville, Tenn. with his wife and the couple shares their home with several horses and dogs that are part of his entertainment package.

McEnaney's personal favorite rodeo sidekick is "Trigger," a miniature horse that is his constant companion and performs with him at all the rodeos.

Palmer said Bill McEnaney will add a lot of fun to the Memorial Day weekend rodeo.

"We invite everyone to come out and enjoy all of the fun that comes with a Professional Cowboy Association Championship Rodeo," Palmer said.

Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children ages, 6 to 11. At the gate tickets are $10 for adult and $6 for children.

Advance tickets may be purchased at all county banks, The Messenger, Byrd Drugs, Pike Farmers Co-op in Brundidge and Goshen, Don Walker's Western Wear, WTBF, Expert Tire, Dunn's True Value Hardware, Troy Spilt Ends, Direct Tire, Cooperative Propane, Tonya's Family Grocery, The Wagon Wheel, Elvira's Tin Top Barber and Style and Goshen Farmers Co-Op.