Horses stormed out of the gate, hooves thumping against the ground as their riders attempted to lasso a calf. The homecoming week Gee Haw Whoa Back Rodeo was off to a thunderous start last Friday evening.
Contestants from around the state came to participate on Friday and Saturday evening. Students, parents and other spectators filled the stands with children lining up near the fence to watch as cowboys and cowgirls participated in calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding and more events on both days.
As part of homecoming week, on Friday the candidates for this year’s ABAC Royalty arrived in on the only steed worthy of southern royalty, the trusty pickup truck.
Seven pickups paraded the candidates around the arena before stopping in front of the crowd to announce Dahlia Sutliff and Jonah Smith as the Homecoming Royalty winners, both were sponsored by the Forestry Club.
On Saturday, first, second and third place awards were given out to the clubs that won the events in this year’s Club Olympics. The Forestry Club were the winners of the Club Olympics and the overall winners of The Stallion Cup. However, other clubs won other events held during the week, like the Circus Cut-Out Contest and the Tailgate Contest. The Young Farmers and Rancher took first place in the Circus Cut-out competition and the Agronomy Club won the Tailgate Contest.
The crowd cheered for the winners for each event in the rodeo. However, the most surprising yet most entertaining performance on both nights was the entertainer and comedian Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard and Team Ghost Riders. Tim “Wild Thang” kept the crowd entertained in between events throughout the night.
He joked with the crowd and got the younger audience and college students involved in the races. The stars of the show, however, were Team Ghost Riders. With a whistle from “Wild Thang”, a team of border collies with monkey cowboys riding on them burst into the arena rushing to corral a group of goats that had also been released into the arena.
Expertly following orders from the whistles of “Wild Thang” the monkey and collie team wrangled the goats into a pen before making them climb up the back and to the roof of a flashy blue semi-truck. After the semi drove away, the team of three dogs and monkeys proudly trotted back out to the cheers of the crowd.
The Homecoming Gee Haw Whoa Back Rodeo was a success with great performances throughout the event providing a fitting close to homecoming week.
The winners of the rodeo events include the following:
Arky Rogers & Britt Bockius-5.4/864.00
Zac Cowart & Rodney Melton-5.5/648.00
Braxton Culpepper & Brad Culpepper-5.7/324.00
Justin Thigpen & George Eldridge-5.7/324.00