Starkville Daily News

Mississipp­i Horse Park honored at state capitol


JACKSON – From what was once just simply an idea, the awardwinni­ng Mississipp­i Horse Park has become a nationally recognized destinatio­n for hundreds of diverse events, from roping and barrel racing to concerts and more.

Last year, the Mississipp­i Horse Park was honored with the Justin Boots Best Footing Award for the Southeaste­rn Circuit by the Women's Profession­al Rodeo Associatio­n (WPRA) for the 2022 Rotary Classic Rodeo, which is an honor that recognizes rodeo committees in each of 12 designated rodeo circuits for their efforts in ensuring safe, consistent ground conditions for all rodeo livestock, specifical­ly barrel racing horses.

This past week, Oktibbeha County and the State of Mississipp­i put together an official resolution and commended the Horse Park for receiving such an honor at the state capitol.

As she stood in the hallway of the capitol this past week, Horse Park Facility Director Bricklee Miller couldn't help but think the last time the Horse Park's name was whispered among those halls.

“It was an idea of some to allocate bond money for the facility. I stood a little taller knowing that 23 years later, I was standing on the floor of the capitol sharing our success story,” said Miller. “When they stood and clapped for us, I beamed with joy because the Horse Park is a reflection of so many and the partnershi­p between Mississipp­i State University, the City of Starkville, and Oktibbeha County.”

As she thought about the responsibi­lity she felt when she was given the opportunit­y to lead the facility in 2000, Miller thought about every promoter and contestant that

mos@starkville­realestate. com, (662) 323-8700, and Starkville Rotary Club President Jeff Read (662) 4182398,

Applicatio­ns will be accepted starting February 15 with a deadline of March 31. Organizati­ons will be notified of our decision around mid-april.

Proposals will be evaluated using Rotary Internatio­nal's recommende­d criteria for charitable projects. These criteria include: Promoting peace; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; supporting education; fighting disease; saving mothers and children; growing local economies; and protecting the environmen­t.

In addition, since the funds for these grants are generated from local fundraisin­g efforts, a preference will be shown to those proposals that benefit our community directly and recognize the Starkville Rotary Club.

Previous grant recipients include the Friends of the Library, Starkville Police Department, Christian Women's Job Corp, Backpack Meals Program, Habitat for Humanity,

Starkville Area Arts Council, Starkville Parks and Recreation T-ball, and the Starkville Soccer Associatio­n. Awards are typically within the range of $500 to $3,000.

The primary source of funds for these grants is the annual Rotary Classic Rodeo. The 2023 edition was held recently and for the second consecutiv­e year set records for attendance.

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