Rockmart Pro Rodeo keeps traditions alive
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.”
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.