Rodeo continues tonight at Coweta fairgrounds

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Matt Croom takes his turn during bareback bronc riding during Friday’s first night of the Coweta Cattlemen’s Rodeo at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. All competitors in the rodeo are members of the International Professional Rodeo Association. Included are participants are from New Mexico, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia.

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL sarah@newnan.com It's the second and final night of the annual Coweta Cattlemen's Rodeo at the Coweta County Fairgrounds on Pine Road. Gates open at 7 p.m., and the event kicks off at 8 with a performance from the Coweta County 4-H's Southern Stars Drill Team.
Then it's on to bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, and bull riding. The Pink Firecrackers drill team will perform during intermission. Tonight's routine will be the same routine the team rode to victory at the recent Georgia Horse Council competition, said coach Angela Dennis. The drill team performs synchronized routines to music. Dennis described it as "dancing on horseback." Tonight is "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night, and a portion of the gate receipts will be donated to the Newnan-based Sue Verner Jones Foundation, which helps breast cancer victims and their families. All competitors in the rodeo are members of the International Professional Rodeo Association. Cowboys and cowgirls will be coming from far and wide to compete. Participants are from areas that include New Mexico, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia, said Frank Sullivan, rodeo co-chairman for the Cattlemen's Association. Several local cowgirls are competing in barrel racing at this year's rodeo, including Mandy Jo Brooks and Alena Reece, who competed Friday, and Jessica Durrett, who will compete tonight. Also competing tonight is Wendy Reed of Roopville, who is second in the rookie standings. The biggest star performing tonight will be Justin Thigpen, the 2009 world champion tie down calf roper. There are several contestants who are already qualified for the International Finals Rodeo, Sullivan said. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 12. The event is free for children ages 3 and under. A concession stand will be manned by members of the 4-H drill teams, and there will also be a vendor of tack and horse accessories, as well as a rock climbing wall and spider bungee. Proceeds from the rodeo go to the Cattlemen's Association, which then distributed the money to a variety of organizations. "We disperse the money annually to about 10 to 12 different charitable organizations here in the county," Sullivan said. "The rodeo is a wonderful family activity. It's lots of fun," said Stephanie Butcher of Coweta County 4-H.


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