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UGA students bring three nights of steer roping and bull riding to Athens By Merritt Melancon

UGA’s Block and Bridle club is gearing up for the 38th annual Great Southland Stampede Rodeo, which will roll into Athens, Ga. this weekend, April 19-21.

The annual event is the only student-run Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association rodeo in the nation. Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country will be in town to show off their skills and battle for top rodeo ranking.

Almost 100 student volunteers from UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have worked for months to put on the show. Since 1974, the event has introduced thousands of UGA students and Northeast Georgians to the world of steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.

The rodeo kicks off Thursday, April 19 with “Tough Enough to Be a Dawg” student night. On this night, students will be able to purchase tickets for $10 with a valid UGA identification card at the door.

Friday is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night. For every person who comes to the arena on Friday wearing pink, $1 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Saturday night will be “Tough Enough to Serve” night, recognizing the service of America’s military men and women.

The rodeo will be held at the UGA Livestock Instructional Arena, located at 2600 South Milledge Avenue. It includes rodeo competitions such as bull riding, calf roping and barrel racing. UGA alum and professional rodeo announcer Roger Mooney will provide commentary.

Gates open at 6 p.m. The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. Tickets will be $15 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Children 3 and under are free every night.

Attendees can preorder discounted tickets, $10 for children and $12 for adults, through Thursday by calling (706) 542-9374.

Seating is limited. Doors will be closed to general admission once attendance has reached maximum capacity. The event will take place rain or shine, as the arena is a covered venue.

For more information, call (706) 542-9374, visit www.wix.com/ugabandb/GSSR2012 or visit the rodeo’s Facebook page by searching 2012 Great Southland Stampede Rodeo on www.facebook.com.

For more information, call (706) 542-9374, visit www.wix.com/ugabandb/GSSR2012 or visit the rodeo’s Facebook page by searching 2012 Great Southland Stampede Rodeo on www.facebook.com.

(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Rodeo barrel racing
Rodeo barrel racing

A barrel racing competitor leans her horse into the turn during the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo.

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A barrel racing competitor leans her horse into the turn during the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo. Download Image
Rodeo calf roping
Rodeo calf roping

Ropes fly during the calf roping event at the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.

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Rodeo staff
Rodeo staff

Rodeo referees wait for the next event to begin at the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo.

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Rodeo kids 2
Rodeo kids 2

Two boys watch cowboys warm up before their events in the arena outside the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in 2008.

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