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Rodeo kicks off summer in the Cowboy Capital

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

The arena dust at Mansfield Park won’t settle for three days during the 2016 PRCA Memorial Day Weekend Rodeos starting Friday, May 27.

The summer season in the Cowboy Capital of the World kicks off this weekend when Bandera ProRodeo presents the annual PRCA Memorial Day Weekend Rodeos, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 27, 28 and 29.
This year’s ProRodeo is dedicated to the late Clay Billings, the talented Tarpley resident, who, like many other aspiring ropers, was mentored by World Champion Ray Wharton.
As it turned out, Wharton’s interest was not misplaced. In 1975, Billings became the Texas State High School Calf Roping Champion and, later that year, won the National Championship in Gallup, New Mexico. It is with great pride that the rodeo committee dedicates this rodeo to roping great Billings.
Spectator gates open at 5:30 pm at Mansfield Park, Highway 16 North. Admission is $12 for adults; $6, children ages six through 12 years; and free for children ages five years and under.
Don’t miss these special activities:
• Colorful and exciting Grand Entry, beginning at 7:30 pm, each evening.
• Wrangler Stick Horse Races - Signup starts at 6 pm, and the Wrangler Stick Horse Races are held before the rodeo begins. Youngsters will get a kick racing their stick horses in the arena.
• Justin Mutton Bustin’ - Signup for this exciting event also begins at 6 pm. Since the number of participants per night is limited to 12, wanna-be busters are urged to be at the arena early! There is a weight limit of 45 pounds. The Justin Mutton Bustin’ competition takes place during the rodeo, and nightly winners will receive a certificate for a free pair of Justin boots.
• Pre-Rodeo entertainment - Beginning at 7:15 pm, Friday, May 27, the Bandera High School Jazz Choir, under the direction of Catherine Holmes and assistant Marc Laine, will present a medley of patriotic pieces honoring this nation’s servicemen and women. Don’t miss this stirring tribute to America’s warriors.
• Rodeo entertainment – Nightly, professional cowboys and cowgirls exhibit their skills in Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Calf Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Barrel Racing.
Also, John Harrison, 2015 National Finals Rodeo Barrelman and Comedy Act of the Year, will provide professional entertainment each night.
“The rodeos and entertainment provide wonderful entertainment at a bargain price,” said a spokesman. “Come join us and celebrate Bandera’s western heritage.”