Well it's bulls and blood. It's dust and mud. It's the roar of a Sunday crowd. It's the white in his knuckles. The gold in the buckle. He'll win the next go 'round. It's boots and chaps. It's cowboy hats. It's spurs and latigo. It's the ropes and the reins. And the joy and the pain. And they call the thing rodeo - Rodeo, written by Larry Bastian, performed by Garth Brooks
The Glen Rose Rodeo Association is saddling up for its biggest event of the year. The 19th Annual Glen Rose PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) Rodeo rides into Somervell County Expo Thursday, Feb. 28, for a weekend of buckin' bulls and broncs, calf ropin', steer wrestlin' and barrel racin' action.
Anyone who thinks Somervell County and local rodeo association can't attract cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation, think again. Chairman Terry Starnes said the stop is one of many for professionals who come from up north as they rodeo up and ride out the winter down south.
"A lot of them are already in the state for Fort Worth, San Antonio and other rodeos," Starnes, a rodeo announcer who will emcee the event, said. "Many of them come down here at the first of January for the rodeo in Odessa and stay until the middle of April to get in a good run."
The three-day event opens at 6:30 p.m. nightly with some of the area's tiniest cowboys and cowgirls taking to the arena at 7 for mutton bustin'. The first 25 kiddos - weighing 50 pounds or less - to sign up for the event each night will be entered into the contest that pits their ability to hold on tight against a frenzied sheep ready to topple its rider. Sign up begins at 6. The entry fee is $15 per contestant, and entrants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A new event this year will also entertain the crowd as youth participate in a 4-H and FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) Calf Scramble. The event could be the liveliest and dirtiest off all. Ten youth will scramble into the arena and herd calves in an effort to catch just one. Five winners will be named each night and walk away with a Wrangler gift certificate. Youth wanting to sign up for the event must do so through their 4-H or FFA advisors.
While it is no secret rodeo fans are drawn to the most daring of rodeo sports which pits two athletes - a rider who typical weighs 175 pounds or less against a bucking bull weighing in at more than 2,000 - against each other. Bull riding will wrap up the nightly performances.
Rockin' Robbie Hodges, will show why he was selected - despite his newcomer status - to serve as barrelman at the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. At that time, Hodges had only been taunting raucous bulls in an effort to protect bull riders for about five years. He also served as an alternate barrelman at the WNFR in 2011 and nominated as PRCA comedy act of the year in 2010 and 2011 and clown of the year in 2006 and 2010. See yourglenrosetx.com for a video of Rockin' Robbie in action.
Attendees who hold for the bull event will not be disappointed as other professional athletes show off their skills. Tenacious athletes in bareback and saddle bronc riding will have mere seconds to exhibit control over their equine counterparts. Meanwhile, steer wrestlers will strive for "bulldogging" success as they combine strength and the basic principle of leverage to wrestle the steer to the ground. Ropers, working individually and in teams, will also lasso the crowd's attention as they work a lightning pace to restrain bewildered bovine intent on escaping.
Meanwhile barrel racers will show off their keen horsemanship skills as the enter the arena at full-speed and attempt to run a clover leaf pattern around three barrels in the quickest time.
Thursday, Feb. 28, is Veterans' Night. Retired and active duty military personnel will receive free admission with proper credentials.
On Friday, March 1, cowboys and cowgirls will prove they're 'Tough Enough to Wear Pink' as the rodeo association, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization helps raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Contestants and attendees at the night's events are encouraged to wear pink to show their support. To properly outfit themselves, fans can purchase pink bandanas at Pie Peddlers, Storiebook Cafe and Green Boot Repair for $5. Proceeds from bandana sales will be given to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Proceeds from the annual event also benefit area scholarships and local chapters of 4-H and FFA programs.
"We have raised more than $70,000 for area scholarships," Starnes said.
Tickets are on sale - $7.50 for general admission on $15.50 for reserved seating - at the Somervell County Expo Center. Call (254) 897-4509 for more information.
For information on sponsoring the event, contact Shelley Starnes at (254) 396-0670 or Terry at 396-2480.
Vendor spaces are also available by calling the expo office.