• 79°

Cattlemen#039;s Rodeo opens Saturday

The smell of cattle, sweat and leather and the jingle of spurs brought to life the old American West and set the stage for a truly American Memorial Day weekend.

The 11th Annual Pike County Cattlemen's Professional Cowboy Association Championship Rodeo was Friday and Saturday night at Cattleman Park.

"We have had a real good crowd," said B.B. Palmer, the Cattlemen publicity chairman.

"Of course, we always draw a bigger crowd Saturday night."

He said each year the rodeo attracts bigger crowds and competitors.

This year, competitors from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee found their way to the Cattleman Park.

Palmer said several cowboys and cowgirls from Troy State University's rodeo team were also there to compete.

"We had one set of cowboys and cowgirls last night and we'll have another set of cowboys and cowgirls tonight," Palmer said before Saturday night's round of competition.

"We'll determine the best scores in each event and those will be the winners."

Friday night, local competitors included Jody Singleton, Brundidge; and Pike Countians Melissa Revell, Tom Kelly, Billy Day, Dempsey Merrell and Johnny Josee.

Other Friday night competitors were Amber Baggett, Megan Robinson, John Parrett and Carson Yates, Luverne; Joey Carpenter, Rutledge; Vic Shaw, Pine Level; Brandon Reynolds, Pike Road; Greg Stevens and Paul Stevens, Ozark; Chase Chapman, Grady; Chris Cain, Brantley and Shirley Jones, Greenville.

Saturday's local competitors included Coy Griffin, Heather Jones, Erika Register, Cathy Roebuck and Amber McDougald, Troy; T.J. Hall and Abby Hall, Opp; Flop Mitchell, Casey Mitchell, Brantley; Barbara Murphy, Ozark; Ty Jones, Greenville; and Brett Sikes, Pine Level.

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, the crowd observed a moment of silence for deployed troops and their families.

They also gave a standing ovation for veterans from every war since World War II.

"One thing we're so proud of and one reason people like the rodeo so much is because it's a family event," Palmer said.

"Look at all these trailers we have and you'll see mama's and daddy's and kids."

Indeed, the rodeo did have something for every kind of cowboy or cowgirl including pony rides and face painting.

And, don't forget the calf scramble and Bill McEnaney, the rodeo clown.

Vendors also set up shop selling everything from jewelry to hats to red, white and blue lassos for the kids.

Families also enjoyed hamburgers, all beef hotdogs, soft drinks and popcorn.

"We just have a good, clean, family show," Palmer said.