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Ranch Rodeo Feb. 15, Horse Series Events Slated
February 3, 2014

Walters State’s Ag Club Winter Series will again feature the Ranch Rodeo on Feb. 15. Between now and March 15, though, riders and horse enthusiasts have a chance to take advantage of a variety of events sponsored by the club.

The Ranch Rodeo, the only one of its kind in East Tennessee, features cowboys taking on farm chores including barrel racing, chute dogging, wild cow milking and cow hide races. Young audience members can get in on the action with a calf ribbon chase and a stick horse race (stick horses available at the event).  The rodeo is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Walters State Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center. Tickets are available through club members and at the door for $10 and $5 students (ages 7-17). Children 6 and under will be admitted free.

This year includes an additional highlight:  trick riders Dusti Crain and Justin Dickerson. The two perform amazing tricks each year at Dollywood’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge. The two are among the South’s best-known Roman Riders. The crowd might see Dickerson riding astride two horses or see Crain circle the arena while hanging from the saddle.

Other Horse 2014 Horse Series Events are designed for the horse owner. The events are held inside and give horses a chance to exercise and, for young horses, a chance to experience the arena environment.

Other Events include:

•Feb. 11 and March 4 – Ranch Sorting and Dummy Roping, Goat Tying and Calf Tying. The cost is $5 per rider per practice run. A jackpot run starts at 9 p.m. with an entry fee of $10 per person or $20 per two-man team. A 60 percent payback is offered. For more information, contact Mike Hughes at (423) 620-4041. Beef cattle will be supplied by 3-H Cattle and G & G Livestock.

•Feb. 18 and March 11 – Exhibition Barrels and Poles. Gates open at 5 p.m. with timed runs beginning at 6 p.m. Fees are $10 per rider with extra exhibition tickets available at $3 each or 4/$10. Only paid riders will be allowed in the arena with horses.

•Feb. 12 and March 5 – Roping starts at 7 p.m. with a 15-per-side round robin. Call Dana Rich at (423) 273-3172 for more information.

•March 14-15 – Speed Show. Gates open Friday at 4 p.m. with money classes starting at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m. with money classes starting at 3 p.m. For more information, contact (423) 585-2663.

The Ag Club Winter Horse Series is a major fund-raiser for scholarships for Ag Club students. Over $100,000 has been raised. The series also gives current agriculture students the chance to meet and network with the program’s alumni, which include many prominent farmers and owners of farm-related businesses. Finally, the horse series is actually a class giving students important experience in event management.