Miss Rodeo USA 2013 Lauren Terry has been in Statesboro all week preparing for the third annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo.
Friday and Saturday, professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls will compete in the International Pro Rodeo Association event brought to the Boro by Hedrick Rodeo Company of Madisonville, Tenn., and the Statesboro Kiwanis Club.
World champion riders will join local contestants as they compete in bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing, rodeo company owner Danny Hedrick said.
Terry, of Moulton, Ala., has been helping promote the rodeo this week and will be on hand both nights of the performance.
“I’ve been a (rodeo) contestant all my life, since I was 2,” she said.
Her family has an annual rodeo at the Iron Rail Arena her grandfather built, which is also the spot for local horse shows.
She used to ride a pony, Pappy, in barrel races as a child, but then enjoyed a stint in showing Western Pleasure before going back to her roots and taking up team roping.
Terry only has two more semesters at Auburn University, but she has taken a year off to perform duties as Miss Rodeo USA.
Her platform is “Round Up Respect,” and she has the goal of teaching children to respect their elders, each other and themselves.
“I feel like that is something we’re missing in society today,” Terry said.
She hopes to get a degree in animal science and open a beef and pork slaughterhouse in her home state after she graduates.
The rodeo is a family affair because it not only offers suitable entertainment for families, but it involves the entire Hedrick family.
Danny Hedrick is a “pickup man” for unseated riders in competitions, while his wife, Jessica, and the pair’s two children perform as trick riders. Jessica Hedrick will top three horses at a time with a Roman riding performance this year.
Lots of laughs will come around as Pork Chop the clown, known as “The Biggest Little Man in Rodeo,” will be joined by Statesboro Kiwanis Club member and rodeo co-chairman Don Poe, aka “Fry Daddy.”
Additional seating was added this year, and while personal chairs are allowed, they will not be able to be placed in front of the bleachers. Patrons are asked to make sure they respect a 4-foot safety boundary around the arena.
Concessions, including pancakes and sausage plates and traditional fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs, will be available in the food court.
Tickets are still on sale at Anderson’s General Store and via Etickets.com.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate.
The rodeo is an International Professional Rodeo Association event and draws world champions, Hedrick said. Fun, non-professional events will include a calf scramble in which children chase a calf and try to remove a ribbon from its tail, as well as a steer dressing event where teams attempt to put clothing items on a hefty steer.
There will also be a bungee jump ride, pony rides for kids and a mechanical bull on hand for would-be riders to try their luck.
A parade before the rodeo each night will include local riders who wish to participate. Gates open at 5 p.m., with the rodeo starting at 7:30 p.m. each day.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.