By Floyd Ingram
R.J. Utz loves rodeo and plans to be one of the first to enter the Buckaroo Rodeo set for Friday at the Chickasaw County Agri-Center.
“J.B Mauney is my favorite,” said Utz, who has the gear and belt-buckle to prove he is real cowboy. “I was at the Biloxi PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Rodeo and got all the cowboys to sign my bag.”
Utz won the bag for being the best-dressed cowboy in his age-group.
And Utz said he is serious about Friday’s rodeo and will probably only smile once or twice.
Friday’s Buckaroo Rodeo will see kids under 12 compete in stick-horse barrel race, bronco riding, dummy roping and wild cow milking. The night will wrap up with a chicken chase.
The Buckaroo Rodeo is open to the public.
“You can make your own stick horse or we will help you make one,” said Angie Abrams, Chickasaw County 4-H coordinator. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for both kids, adults and grandparents. This will be a night for families.”
Abrams said local businesses are being solicited for prizes for first place winner and ribbons will be given in all categories.
“We will be asking people to get involved and help us with this,” said Abrams. “This is about this community having a little fun and doing something with kids. I hope people will support it.”
Friday’s rodeo is part of a two-day event at the Agri-Center that includes a real rodeo Saturday night and 4-H ag exhibits all week long.
Saturday’s ranch rodeo will see cowboys compete in sorting, mugging, trailer-loading, branding and team-roping and will pay average and fastest time in each event. There is a $200, 4-man team entry fee with a 60-percent payout.
Barrel racing has a $25 entry fee and 60-percent payout and $100 added with 20 entries.
Abrams said the Agri-Center has a history of drawing good talent for rodeos and this event should be no different.
The Saturday’s fun will also feature a Celebrity Rodeo made up of local movers and shakers.
“We also want people to come cheer on their favorite ‘Celebrity,’” said Abrams. “They will go against each other during the ranch rodeo sorting out a cow on horseback.”
Local rodeo celebrities will be:
• Murray Cousins – Eaton Automotive.
• Dustin Dendy – Houston Police Department.
• Linda Griffin – Emergency Management Director.
• Jerry Hall – Chickasaw County Supervisor.
• Tammy Johnson – Regions Bank.
• Stacey Parker – Mayor of Houston.
• James Pettit – Natchez Trace EPA.
• Andy Pumphrey – Grocer’s Pride.
• Lisa Voyles – Chickasaw Journal.
• Lee Womack – Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Thursday starts with local cooks, canners, sowers, photographers, artists and collectors registering exhibits for display.
“We don’t have a county fair but this is a desire by some people to get one started,” said Abrams. “We are looking for people with a talent or special gift and want them to enter their craft or what they cook or sew the best.”
Abrams said first place winners will get a Blue Ribbon and $2. Second and Third Place will also receive ribbons.
Categories range from jewelry and photography to clothing, canning and cooking.
The competition is broken down into youth and adult. There is no fee to enter an exhibit.
For more information about the Ranch Rodeo, Buckaroo Rodeo or to enter an exhibit please call Abrams at 456-4269. Exhibit rules can be picked up at the Chickasaw Journal at 225 East Madison in downtown Houston or the Chickasaw County Extension offices on Lee Horn Drive.