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Trojan Stampede rodeo begins Thursday

The rumble of the Troy University Trojan Stampede will be heard throughout the county Oct. 14-16 as cowboys and cowgirls from 12 universities in the Ozark Region saddle up and compete for pride and points in the college rodeo at Cattleman Park.

Troy University will host the Stampede with 240 contestants from the Ozark Region, which is the largest in the area. The Ozark Region is made up of rodeo teams from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri so the Stampede is a “big deal,” said Josh Simmons, Troy University Rodeo coach.

“It’s our turn to host the college rodeo and we are looking forward to being the host college and also to competing,” Simmons said. “This will be the fourth of 10 rodeos this year. Our women’s team won the championship in the first rodeo of the year and Justin Walker, a freshman, won first in bull riding. Overall we’ve had an average year but expect to pick things up.”

Kassandra Smith, breakaway roping and goat tying, Lanie Culligan, breakaway roping; Whitney Hazouri, breakaway roping; Stetson Aldridge, calf roping and team roping; and Lane Taylor have all had good times. Aldridge placed sixth and Taylor, seventh, in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming in the summer.

“We’re expecting them to be competitive as well as good times from the other members of the team,” Simmons said.

The Troy University Rodeo Team has 29 members. Six guys and four women, compete as team members. The others compete individually.

“The team of 10 is our offense and they score the points,” Simmons said. “The others are our defense because they compete as individuals and, by winning, can take points away from another team.

The chutes will 7 p.m. nightly with the long go’s on Thursday and Friday and the short go on Saturday. The short go features the top 10 contestants in each event.

Contestants will compete in nine events, bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding, calf, team and breakaway roping, steer wrestling, barrels and goat tying. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students.