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YEE HAW! 134 compete in annual Kiwanis Rodeo
Event packs the stands, brings excitement, fun
W girl on bull
Alaina Hulst, 10, of Brooklet hangs on during a wild mechanical bull ride before the start of the 2017 Kiwanis Rodeo. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Swaddled in warm jackets and wrJumpin’, buckin’ broncs, twisting bulls, riding cowboys, quick steer wrestlers, expert roping, speedy barrel-racing cowgirls, excited kids and a packed house of enthusiastic rodeo fans made for a great show at the seventh annual Kiwanis Rodeo. 

    Hedrick Rodeo Company brought top-shelf bulls and broncs to Statesboro and it showed in the arena. One rodeo fan was overheard saying he’d heard about a cow jumping over the moon, but never knew broncs would try jumping over the moon, too!

    The cowboys and cowgirls were a skilled bunch. All of the bucking events featured riders ranked in IPRA’s top five for their event. Cowgirl Barrel Racing had the IPRA top two, and Steer Wrestling IPRA, No. 1. 

    There was perfect “rodeo weather” — dry and comfortable, with no chance of precipitation.  The food and beverages were good — Kiwanis barbecue, L & D hamburgers, Back-Porch Grill corn-dogs and chicken-on-a-stick, Wavee Shavee flavored ice, Maui Wowi smoothies and Coca-Cola — ensuring no one went hungry or thirsty.

    Rodeo contestants, 134 in total, represented 18 states, with 46 from Georgia, followed by 28 from North Carolina and 15 from Tennessee. 

    Rodeo event winners with scores/times and hometowns were Joshua Crager of Columbia, Tennessee, 82.5 in Bareback Bronc; Austin Joseph of Benton Kentucky, 83 in Saddle Bronc; Curt Mosley of Dalton, Georgia, 8.8 seconds in Tie-Down Ropng; Joshua Hefner of Mooresville, North Carolina, 4.5 seconds in Steer Wrestling; Jacob Dagonhart of Statesville, North Carolina, and Adam Pylor, of Pageland, South Carolina, 5 seconds in Team Roping; Taylor Joseph of Benton, Kentucky, 14.598 seconds in Cowgirl Barrel Racing; and Jacob Goodson of Ludowici, Georgia, 83 in Bull Riding.

    The winning scores/times are impressive but they don’t tell the whole story of the competitiveness.  In Cowgirl Barrel Racing, Joseph’s winning time was just .007 seconds faster than the second place racer, Kristen Yde and .014 seconds faster than the third place racer, Taylor Carver. In all three buckling events (bull, bareback bronc and saddle bronc) the top three finishers had scores in the 80s, within 3 points of each other.  Each of these events had at least two money winners who are in the IPRA top 5 for their event.

    The winner in Steer Wrestling, with a time of 4.5 seconds, received rousing applause from the appreciative fans for his incredible effort.  A lot of us can’t get up from the couch that fast. 

    Local events each night featured Calf Scrambles for kids, ages 7-9 and 10-12, and Steer Dressing for three-person adult teams (at least one female).  Winners were

Niles Street, 10-12 winner on Friday; Vandon Bryant, 7-9 winner on Friday; Chris Carson, 10-12 winner on Saturday; and Logan Hendrix, 7-9 winner on Saturday. Winners in the Calf Scramble received $50 plus lunch vouchers from McAllister’s Deli.

    In Steer Wrestling, the Friday winners were APW Wrestling’s Sunny Dupree, Brandon Bullock and Clay Teston. Saturday winners were Statesboro STEAM Charter School’s Benji Lewis, Seth Degyansky and Veronica Corbett. In Steer Wrestling, winning teams received $100 plus a $50 gift certificate from Agri Supply and lunch vouchers from McAllister’s Deli. Friday’s winners were

    The Calf Scramble has the kids chasing after a calf to snatch a ribbon from its tail.  The calf is not real cooperative and plays catch-me-if-you-can with the kids.

    Steer Dressing finds three teams trying to capture a young steer and dress it with shorts and socks.  Dressing the steer is not the hard part.  The chase often resembles a Keystone Cops episode. 

    It was a memorable rodeo experience — lots of smiles on the faces of departing fans and they stayed to the end, rewarded with a super bull-riding competition. 

    Statesboro Kiwanis gives a hearty hats-off to their sponsors for partnering in bringing great rodeo to Statesboro.



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