Bulls, Broncs, and Barrels

-photos by Paladin Pro Photo and courtesy of Lone Star Rodeo Company

-photos by Paladin Pro Photo and courtesy of Lone Star Rodeo Company

Celebrating an American tradition, the Lone Star Rodeo Company will once again bring its Bulls, Broncs, and Barrels tour to the Blount County-Oneonta Agri-Business Center for two nights of thrilling competition.Beginning at 7:30 p.m.each night, this exciting event will be held on Friday, Jan. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 11.

As in past years, the competition is fierce. Bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, Brahma bull riding, and cowgirls’ barrel racing will be included during each performance. An added attraction to this year’s event will be hilarious rodeo clown Mighty Mike Wentworth. And, if you look closely, you will see local people showcasing their talent during some of these events.

For those who have never attended one of these competitive events, the riders must meet several benchmarks to score points in an attempt to win their competition. Bareback bronc riders are being judged as soon as the bronc and rider burst from the chute. The rider is required to have both spurs touching the horse’s shoulders until the horse’s feet hit the ground. If the rider fails to complete this task, he is disqualified.

The bareback rider continues to be judged on his spurring technique, the degree to which his toes remain turned out while he is spurring, and his willingness to take whatever might come with the ride. Some describe this event as riding a jackhammer with one hand.

The saddle bronc riding event is more than riding a bucking horse. It is an event that involves style, grace, and precise timing. The rider must hold onto a thick rein attached to the horse’s halter, all while using only one hand to stay securely in the saddle. His movements must be synchronized with the horse to ensure a fluid ride.

Bull riding, one of the rodeo’s most popular events, involves intentionally climbing onto the back of a 2,000-pound bull. Though dangerous, but predictably exciting, bull riding demands intense physical skill, supreme mental toughness, and lots of courage. Using only one hand, the rider must have balance, flexibility, coordination, quick reflexes, and a strong mental attitude to try and stay aboard during their eight-second ride.

Though the purpose of barrel racing is to complete the course in the fastest time, it is not as simple as it sounds. In addition to being fast, the horse must be strong, agile, and intelligent as he uses strength and agility to maneuver the course in as little distance as possible, all while hugging the barrels and following the commands of the rider.

Tickets for this event are all general admission and can be purchased at the door. Adult tickets are $15 each and children ages 4 to 12 are $10 each. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

The Blount County-Oneonta Agri-Business staff invites everyone to bring their family and friends to this fun and exciting winter event. For more information, call the Agri-Business Center at 205-274-8839.