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More than 300 compete in rodeo

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally "rodeo weekend" in Pike County.

This was the 12th year for the Pike County Cattlemen's Professional Cowboy Association Rodeo and it was a humdinger, " said B.B. Palmer, rodeo publicity chairman.

"We had more than 300 cowboys and cowgirls from nine states participate and that was the largest number we have had," Palmer said. "That shows that our rodeo is getting bigger and better each year and that make us mighty proud."

However, Palmer said he was a "little disappointed" in attendance at Friday night's event.

"Attendance was good but we saw some empty seats that we're not use to seeing and that was disappointing, but a slow night at the Pike County Cattlemen's PCA Rodeo is a good night at most rodeos. You're not going to hit a homerun every time you come up to bat. So, I shouldn't have been disappointed but I was - but just a little."

Palmer only had 24 hours to shoulder his disappointment because Saturday night was a good night at the rodeo.

"Saturday is always our big night and this year it was a real big night," Palmer said. "The whole weekend was good. We had some very good cowboys and cowgirls competing and everybody had a good time, so I feel good about rodeo in Pike County and about its future. We're just going to keep getting bigger and better."

Palmer said Friday night slack, which got under way after the last rodeo event, went until after 1 a.m. and Saturday morning slack was about two hours.

Palmer said. The more entries in a rodeo the bigger the purse and the bigger the purse, the more entries.

"One thing feeds the other," Palmer said. With our added money and the large number of entries, the Pike County rodeo is a big draw. When you've got that much interest from cowboys and cowgirls, you know that you're doing something right."

Natasha Parker, a student at the University of West Alabama, was at slack Saturday morning to run barrels and was back again Saturday night to compete in breakaway roping.

"I'm riding a young colt and I'm at slack because it's more relaxed and not as loud," she said. "I wanted my horse to have a chance to get used to the arena without all the music and crowd noise."

Parker said the Pike County Cattlemen's PCA Rodeo is a good one.

"I've been competing in PCA rodeo for about five years and I like coming to here," she said.

Parker has competed at Cattleman Park in high school and college rodeos.

"Everyone is friendly and the arena is clean and the ground is good," she said. "It's a great place for rodeo."

An added attraction this year was the horseshoe toss co-sponsored by Riverside Chrysler and the Pike County Cattlemen's Association.

Those what registered for the drawing at the Chrysler dealership were entered in a drawing for a chance to toss a horseshoe in a barrel and win a new Dodge truck.

"Leah Norman's name was drawn Friday night and she did her best, but I guess she forgot to eat her Wheaties," Palmer said. "She didn't quite make it. But, she had fun and the toss was something extra for the audience to enjoy."