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BY MARY GARRISON
Itâ€™s time to break out the boots and prepare for a good time. East Mississippi Community College, assisted by Luke Lummus Rodeo Productions, will host its second inaugural Ozark Region collegiate rodeo beginning Thursday at Eagle Ranch in West Point.
The event, which brings an estimated 350 competitors from about 12 four-year universities and two-year community colleges, will begin at 7:30 p.m. nightly Thursday through Saturday, with additional daytime events to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, as well. Menâ€™s events will include bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping, while womenâ€™s events will feature barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping. The top 10 competitors from the three-day event will square off in the finals Saturday evening.
However, thereâ€™s a little something for everyone, according to Luke Lummus, Clay County District 2 supervisor and owner of Luke Lummus Rodeo Productions.
â€śItâ€™s a good, clean family atmosphere,â€ť Lummus said. â€ś(Thereâ€™s something) for the grandparents all the way down to the grandchildren.â€ť
Lummus said area children would have the opportunity to participate in activities of their own in between collegiate competitions. The rodeo will feature a pig scramble for children 5 and younger, as well as a calf scramble for youth 6-10 and a chicken scramble for slightly older participants, 11-15.
â€śThe pig scramble is always really cute,â€ť said Morgan Goodrich, head rodeo coach for EMCC. â€śPrestage Farms comes in with the little, baby pigs and we put them out in the arena. Itâ€™s funny to watch because the kids will be kind of afraid to touch them at first, but once they work up their nerve theyâ€™ll get close and the pigs will squeal and run off and they just laugh. Itâ€™s really cute.â€ť
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