Rodeo is this weekend

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By Poppy Moe

It is Pro Rodeo time at the Williston Horseman's Arena this weekend. It is the 14th Annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo. It is actually the 10th year that Charley Lowery and his 4-L rodeo Company have ventured down from Georgia to Williston to put on the production. The chairman of the rodeo committee, Duke Reid, and the Williston Horsemen's Association President, Alfred Pendray plan to present Charley Lowery and his rodeo crew a trophy plaque commemorating the 10th year of the successful partnership between the two.

The Williston Horseman's Rodeo Committee works hard to get sponsorships and to sell advertising to fund the rodeo. Also, they have to tend to details such as ordering posters, signs, tickets and advertisements to inform the public when and where the rodeo performance is. The committee lines up the vendors, ticket sales, emergency ambulance on hand and veterinarian on call.

The stock contractor Charley Lowery has to bring in all the livestock and announcer and the chute help. He also lines up the bullfighters and

funny clown to entertain the crowd. The 4-L rodeo crew includes the two mounted pickup men who help rescue the downed riders and move livestock in and out of the arena. The 4-L rodeo is a well oiled professional machine at putting on rodeo performances.

The rodeo secretary helps each contestant get signed in and paid up at the rodeo grounds. The contestants actually enter the rodeo 5 to 10 days ahead by calling Pro Com (Pro Rodeo Communications) in Colorado at the PRCA headquarters. The secretary gets the list of entries from there and then conducts the business of keeping score and assisting the professional judges in keeping the rules and running the rodeo on schedule. 4-L Rodeo Company does some 40 or more productions per year. That keeps the company on the road a lot. But it is a life that most all love to do. They have pride in the concept of the cowboy way of life and the competition of rodeo.

Another important aspect of pro rodeo is the contestant. Each cowboy or cowgirl has to decide which rodeo he or she can or should enter. Some have the time and means to travel more than others. Some choose to rodeo close to home or in the regional circuit. Others can enter and compete on a national scale.

Professional Rodeo has five standard events. They are Bareback Bronc Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc Riding, and Bull Riding. Most rodeos also have the Team Roping, also known as Heading & Heeling and the Women's Barrel Racing event. This year the rodeo committee has added the Mutton Busting for the little cowboys. The youngsters try to ride sheep like they were bulls. It is always fast and unpredictable as the brave little cowboys and cowgirls muster up the courage to ride the sheep.

The Williston Horseman's 14th Annual Pro Rodeo promises the best of all aspects of rodeo. For the audience we provide the home town, family oriented atmosphere and entertainment. Easy parking, easy access to seating and no long lines or stadium steps. There will be great outdoor cooked barbecue ribs and chicken dinners starting at 6 p.m. Also the Horseman's Park gates open at 6 p.m. The rodeo performances begin at 8 both Friday and Saturday nights. The Rodeo Committee will take a well deserved bow at the beginning of the performance by riding in on the 6 pony hitch wagon driven by Gary Moe. The Putting on the Bits Mounted Drill Team will be the pre show entertainment in the arena at 7:45.

Miss Florida Rodeo 2008, Sydnye Weber plans to appear Friday night and Miss Florida High School Rodeo 2008, Sabal Rose Toney will grace our arena Saturday night. Tickets are $12 at the gate and $10 in advance. Kids under 12 are $7 at the gate and $5 in advance. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Kloverleaf Tack in Williston, Chiefland Farm Supply in Chiefland, and both Wishful Thinking Western Worlds in Ocala and Gainesville, Tack Shack of Ocala, Duggan's Equipment Sales in Ocala and at the Williston Horseman's Association tent at the Peanut Festival. The Williston Horseman's Arena is 1 1/2 miles south of Williston off U.S. Hwy. 41 on Well Built Road. Come on out to the arena and have a great night out. We promise lots of chills and spills and fast rodeo action. See ya at the rodeo!