Rock­mart Pro Rodeo keeps tra­di­tions alive

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Tyler Wil­liams SJ Cor­re­spon­dent

The long tra­di­tion of the rodeo lived on over the week­end of Sept. 8 and 9 in Rock­mart as the pres­tige and fan­fare was cen­ter stage at the Haney Arena.

Now in it’s 25th year, the Rock­mart Pro Rodeo not only gave lo­cal fans of bull and horse rid­ers, but also pro­vided much needed money for lo­cal pro­grams who ben­e­fit from the show.

The an­nual event, a show­case of cow­boys in their finest boots and shiny buck­les, con­tin­ued to keep alive the proud tra­di­tions of those who work live­stock on the farm and take their chances rid­ing buck­ing bulls.

It wasn’t short on fan­fare. A mix of South­ern Rock and whin­nies of horses filled the air the per­fect at­mos­phere for the rid­ers on top of their beau­ti­ful stal­lions gal­lop­ing around the arena and kick­ing up dust for the stands full of fans.

Along with the cow­boys at­tempt­ing their eight sec­onds atop of the buck­ing bron­cos and bulls the rodeo show­cased their most skilled horse­back rid­ers as the fe­male rider rode her horse around the arena do­ing tricks such as stand­ing on top of the horse while at full gal­lop, hang­ing from the sides of the horse, and the leg­endary crane po­si­tion where she stands on one leg and thrust her arms and free leg into the air on top of a gal­lop­ing horse.

This rodeo not only helps keep the western as­pect alive in the south, but is also a huge con­trib­u­tor in help­ing out with a pair of lo­cal pro­grams.

Funds from the Rodeo were do­nated to the Polk County Sher­iff’s Of­fice CHAMPS pro­gram and the Rock­mart Fu­ture Farm­ers of Amer­ica through T-shirt sales and raf­fle tick­ets for a Po­laris ATV to be drawn on Sept. 29.

“This a fun ex­pe­ri­ence that helped our club out tremen­dously,” said FFA mem­ber Izzy Maxwell, “My fa­vorite part of the show was watch­ing the sky­divers come in I thought that was pretty cool.”

All the rid­ers in this event com­peted for a all or noth­ing cash prize and for points that go to­ward their record to them pro­ceed into more rodeo events through­out the south­east as part of the SPRA.

Host Larry Haney said the em­pha­sis on main­tain­ing tra­di­tions and the high­est level of com­pe­ti­tion main con­trib­u­tors of why this rodeo has won an for the Best Out­door Rodeo in 2016 by the South­ern Pro­fes­sional Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I’ve put on a lot of rodeos through­out the South­east for a long time, but it’s al­ways a lit­tle dif­fer­ent putting it on here at my home­town,” said Haney. “We try to make it a lit­tle bit big­ger and bet­ter when we put it on here.”

Tyler Wil­liams / Stan­dard Jour­nal

As much as buck­ing bron­cos and bulls were part of the draw for the Rock­mart Pro Rodeo, the en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided by rodeo clowns mat­ters just as much.

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