Photo by Matt Wilson
Photo by Matt Wilson

Archived Story

RBCEP hosts weekend rodeo

Published 2:02pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

By Matt Wilson

For the FCT

HODGES – Rock Bridge Canyon hosted their third annual rodeo at the Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park in Hodges on June 20 and 21.

The seven events were put on by Nighthawk Rodeo from Pontitoc, Miss., and participants included males and females from all over the Southeast.

Grand marshal for the event was Jim Porter, president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), who was invited to be a part of the event by state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow.

Tina Lawler, activities director for Rock Bridge Canyon, said having someone like Porter be a part of the event was special.

“He brings awareness to the area, the park, and the rodeo,” Lawler said. “And having awareness is important for putting something like this on.”

The rodeo started off with bareback bronco riding, which was preceded by a couple of the broncos putting up a fight before even coming out of the chute.

Calf roping proved to be difficult for the contestants as it wasn’t until the fourth roper finally posted a time.

Team roping saw much more success from the contestants as the headers and heelers consistently hit their marks.

Lawler said that she is proud of the rodeo and equally proud of the area with the canyon and the horse trails.

“I think it is just a great hidden little gem,” Lawler said. “But we have been seeing people from all over come in here to enjoy the park. We’ve seen campers from as far away as Germany and people from Wyoming and Indiana and New York have come through here too.”

Lawler stressed the importance of the sponsors for the rodeo and their part in making it a success.

“The sponsors have been great and they make this all possible,” Lawler said.

“We’ve sold ads and banners that are up around the whole arena and that makes all of this be able to come together.”

In the future Lawler hopes to see the rodeo grow and continue to be a family event.

“We really want to focus on the events being family-oriented events,” Lawler said. “We want them to be clean and wholesome for the whole family.

“We also hope to keep growing and have more events at the arena other than just the rodeo.”

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