RECORD RODEO: Historic crowd entertained by bull, sheep rides

Published 9:11 pm Monday, August 26, 2019

The Pike County Cattlemen’s NCPRA Rodeo at Cattleman Park over the weekend broke all attendance records and featured a record number of cowboys and cowgirls.

On Saturday night, the standing-room-only crowd topped 3,200 and Friday’s rodeo was one of the largest in the 27-year history of the Cattlemen’s professional rodeo. The 228 cowboys and cowgirls also set a record for the Pike County Cattlemen.

The dust was still stirring long after the last bull ride Saturday night and, for the Pike County Cattlemen, it was a reminder of just how far the rodeo has advanced in Pike County.

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“We started in the dust,” Cattleman Johnny Garrett said. “In the beginning, the Pike County Cattlemen’s rodeo was set up outside. We started from nothing really. We had to rent panels for the arena and we had to rent the stands. We had to do all the set-up work ourselves and it took a lot of sweat and a lot of long hours.  A couple of years later, we were able to build a building and an arena and come inside. And, this weekend, we had a record crowd. We have come a long way.”

B.B. Palmer, publicity chair for the Cattlemen, said the Pike County Cattlemen’s 27th Annual NCPRA Rodeo weekend was a great one from start to finish.

“The cowboys and cowgirls provided great excitement and the payout was good, I’d say, somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000,” Palmer said. “The crowds both nights were super; we had great vendors and concessions. We were very pleased.”

Palmer said not only were the crowds great both nights of the rodeo, so was the participation in the Kids’ Western Festival on Saturday afternoon.

“If I had to say, there were probably around 150 kids in the arena,” Palmer said. “Of course, the mutton bustin’ is also a big attraction but the kids enjoyed it all. There are all kinds of games – ropin’ the steer head, stick horse and truck racing, ring toss games, just a lot of fun things for kids to do.”

Palmer said a rodeo is just good, family entertainment all around.

The rodeo hasn’t much changed over the years. Although the arenas are more up-to-date, it’s still has the flavor of the Old West.

“You can’t beat a night at the rodeo,” Palmer said. “If you come one time, you’ll want to come back again.”