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The night out at the Pro Rodeo was a great evening of entertainment. There was something for most everyone that likes the outdoors and cowboys and livestock. The weather was perfect and the rodeo fans had a lot of enthusiasm.
The early birds got their barbecue plates and found a good seat. The "Putting on the Bits" drill team did a precision routine to music prior to the show. Then the rodeo started right on time at 8 p.m. both nights and transitioned through all the events with moments of humor, the clown and glamour, the Rodeo Queens and great horsemanship and tricks by Shane Karson. He did a three-horse Roman riding routine that was really exciting to watch. Bryan Hope kept everyone laughing with his down home humor and pranks, sometimes taking a swat at the announcer Jerry Todd. The glamour arrived in the form of Miss Florida Rodeo 2008, Sydney Weber and Miss Florida Teen Rodeo on Friday night. Saturday Miss Florida High School Rodeo, Sabal Rose Toney was reigning over the rodeo arena.
Quite a few youngsters entered the "Mutton Busting". Sometimes the cowgirls out rode the cowboys. The crowd loved the bravery and courage of the young riders.
A highlight worth noting is that 19-year-old Bronc Platt of Ocala was the high scoring bull rider of the rodeo, an 82-point ride. His family told me that he had actually started out at 5 years old riding sheep at Ocala and Williston rodeos.
Bud Hallman of Brooksville won the Steer Wrestling event with a 4.0 second run.
Josh Mayworth of Sebring was the fastest in the Tie Down Roping with a 9.3 second run. Lorie Manning of Myakka City, scooted around the barrels in a blazing 15.76 seconds in the women's barrel race.
Nelson Linares of Plant City and Steve Hester of Lakeland won the Team Roping with 5.6 seconds.
There was a short tribute to Charley Lowry and the 4-L rodeo company from the Williston Horseman for a 10-year successful relationship producing the Pro Rodeo. Rodeo Chairman Duke Reid presented Lowry with a plaque stating the Horseman's Appreciation for producing 10 really good Pro Rodeos. Then the Williston Horseman's Rodeo Committee shut the gates and turned off the lights, but are already planning things for the 15th Annual Pro Rodeo in 2009.