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Rodeo reset for Aug. 28–29
COVID-19 forces postponement of annual event
In this file photo, Cody Warnock of Ohatchee, Alabama, is shot out of the chute into the sunset during the bareback bronc riding competition on Saturday during the 2019 Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds. Warnock is the number one ranked rookie and ranked number three overall in the world rodeo competition standings.

Originally scheduled for April, the 10th annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo is now tentatively set to bring cowboys, bulls and bucking broncs to Statesboro on Aug. 28–29.

The popular attraction was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Statesboro Kiwanis President-elect Ashlee Hooks Corbin.

“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the national, state and local directives, and the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro’s concern for the safety of our community and our patrons, the club made the difficult decision to postpone the rodeo,” she said in a statement released Monday. “The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo will closely monitor the actions (and) directives of national, state and local authorities regarding event attendance.  However, at this time, avoiding large gatherings is also still an open directive. We will remain hopeful that restrictions will ease by August.”

Kiwanis officials will “reevaluate the safety of the August dates by the first week of August,” and an update with dates and times will be provided then, she said.

Tickets for adults will be $12 in advance and $16 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 6–14 are $7 in advance and $11 at the gate, and children 5 and younger are admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket, she said. Tickets are available for purchase at Anderson’s General Store on Northside Drive East.

The rodeo, hosted at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds on Highway 67 in Statesboro, is a fundraiser hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro. All profits are donated back into the community and surrounding area. The rodeo is one of two main fundraisers hosted by Statesboro club; the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair is held in October.

Hedrick Rodeo Company of Madisonville, Tennesee, produces the rodeo, sanctioned by the IPRA, which draws championship professional competition, with riders from all over the world, including locally, who compete in bull riding, bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing and more.

Rodeo company owner Danny Hedrick raises his own champion bucking stock, and he recently named a newly foaled overo paint filly “Kiwanis” as a tribute to the unique partnership the rodeo company and the Hedrick family enjoy with the Statesboro Kiwanis.

Sponsors for the event include the Statesboro Herald, Northland Cable, JC Lewis Ford Lincoln of Statesboro and Anderson’s General Store.

“Many other community sponsors are involved with the Statesboro Kiwanis Club,” Corbin said. “The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo is an event geared toward entertaining the community and offering people a chance to see something that isn’t offered frequently in our area. We were sad to postpone the rodeo from our traditional April dates, but the safety of our community is of the utmost importance to the club.”

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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