The University of Georgia’s Block and Bridle Club is gearing up for the 36th annual Great Southland Stampede Rodeo, and that’s meant some sleepless nights for rodeo chairman Ashley Buford.
“We’ve been working on the rodeo for a full year now, so we’re trying to make sure we have everything set up,” Buford said. “It’s amazing how everyone’s coming out and working together… It’s going to be a great show this year.”
The rodeo rolls into Athens, Ga., April 15-17. It’s the only student-run Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association rodeo in the nation. Hard work by University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences students makes it happen.
Events start April 15 at 10 a.m. with the children’s rodeo. More than 1,200 children are expected.
This year, the club is partnering with UGA Relay for Life to increase attendance on opening night and raise money for the American Cancer Society. They’re also continuing the “Tough Enough” theme they’ve used in years past.
“We’ve always had a ‘tough enough to wear pink’ night, so this year we’re continuing the ‘are you tough enough’ trend with ‘tough enough to be a Dawg’ and ‘tough enough to serve,” Buford said.
April 15 is Dawg night, and tickets are $10 for UGA students, faculty and staff. April 16 is pink night. For every person wearing pink that night, $1 will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. April 17 is serve night, and the rodeo will be honoring those who work to serve and protect.
The rodeo will be held at the UGA Livestock Instructional Arena and include rodeo competitions like bull riding and calf roping, bull fighters and rodeo announcer Roger Mooney.
Gates open at 6 p.m. The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. At the gate, tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and children. Preordered tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and children.
For more information, call 706-542-9374 or visit www.uga.edu/bandb/GSSRodeo.
(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.)
A competitor warms up before his event at the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.Download Image
A barrel racing competitor leans her horse into the turn during the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo.Download Image
Ropes fly during the calf roping event at the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.Download Image
Rodeo referees wait for the next event to begin at the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo.Download Image
Two boys watch cowboys warm up before their events in the arena outside the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.Download Image
Children play with the sheep during the petting zoo portion of the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.Download Image