Superb bucking broncs and bulls, fast horses, skillful riding and good roping by cowboys and cowgirls made the sixth annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo an amazing event. Thanks to Hedrick Rodeo Company, the arena action was top-shelf stuff, both Friday and Saturday nights.
The flag ceremony opening the show each night, featuring Miss Rodeo USA Harmony Latham carrying Old Glory 'round the arena, brought out goosebumps and hearty applause.
The moist weather on Friday held down attendance a bit, but a lot of rodeos would have been pleased with that crowd. Saturday provided perfect rodeo weather, and the packed house was awesome. The audience was treated to great, crisp action in the arena as well as the sparkling humor of rodeo clown Josh "Porkchop" Garrett and pro rodeo announcer Tyler Brown.
On Facebook, Porkchop had this to say: "Had an amazing weekend in Statesboro Georgia! Packed house last night and it was rocking! Thanks a ton to Hedrick Rodeo, and the Statesboro Kiwanis Club for having me! Awesome job by all involved!"
Among the rodeo contestants, 12 states, Chili, Quebec and Ontario were represented. Of the 135 entrants, 67 were from Georgia - a great showing from our great state.
Winners included Joseph Courville of Bourbonnais, Illinois, in bareback bronc riding; Josh Motes of Taylorsville, Georgia, in saddle bronc riding; Clint Thomas of Ranger, Georgia, in tie-down roping; J.W. Ery of Springfield, Tennessee, in steer wrestling; Jacob Degenhart of Statesville, South Carolina, and Adam Plyer of Pageland, South Carolina, in team roping; Taylor Carver of Broxton, Georgia, in cowgirl barrel racing; and Josh Goodson of Ludowici, Georgia, and Jon Mastrangelo of Plainville, Georgia, who tied in bull riding.
Local events rodeo spectators seemed to thoroughly enjoy were the steer dressing and kids' calf scramble.
Steer dressing requires teams of three adults, with at least one female, to catch and dress a steer with a scarf, shorts and two socks. Dressing the steer is not the hard part - and yes, the action is fun to watch! Winning teams were D&R Intensive Car Care and Magnolia Women's Health Care. Each received $100, a $50 gift certificate from AgriSupply and meal vouchers from McAlister's Deli.
The calf scramble had kids chasing after a calf and trying to snatch a pink ribbon from its tail. The scramble resembles an ad hoc fire drill, and the calves are less than cooperative as the herds of kids bound toward them, but it is good fun for the kids and audience alike. Winners were Ledger Comly on Friday and Jacob Dallas on Saturday in the 6-8 age division, and Gage Hughes on Friday and Logan Brooks on Saturday in the 9-12 age division. Each received $50 and a voucher from McAlister's Deli.
The consensus from rodeo participants, judges and spectators was that the sixth annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo, an International Professional Rodeo Association sanctioned event, was a hit.