Rodeo excitement is coming to Kosciusko with the first-ever Professional Cowboy Association Heart of Mississippi Rodeo presented by the Attala County Co-op.
The fun will begin on Friday, Sept. 23, with title sponsor day at the Attala County Co-op from 1 to 3 p.m. The co-op will feature a death-defying rodeo specialty act and spectators will have the opportunity to meet the rodeo clown and purchase rodeo tickets. The co-op will offer discounts on select merchandise.
The rodeo gates open at 5 p.m. Friday at 1 Superior Drive behind Dickerson Petroleum. Mutton busting, an event for youth, begins at 6:30 p.m. The rodeo begins at 7:30 and is expected to run until approximately 9:30 p.m.
Riley Hudson, executive director of the Kosciusko-Attala Partnership, said, “This is something for everybody, from the little bitty kids all the way up to the elderly. Everybody is excited about it. It’s been quite the buzz with everyone talking about it.”
Saturday’s events begin with Cowboy Day in the Renasant parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’re trying to make it feel like you’re stepping into a Western way of life,” said Hudson. “We’ll have cooking over the campfire demonstrations, a petting zoo, line dancing and carriage rides. We’ll have a Wells Fargo stagecoach there for pictures. It’s a state-of-the-art thing a lot of people will be really interested in. It was built by Wells Fargo and is a big collector’s item. I think it’s going to be something to see. We’ll have food trucks and other vendors there as well.”
The rodeo Saturday night will have the same schedule as Friday, but the competitors will be different.
Ryon Ramsey, 2020 Mississippi high school all-around cowboy and 2020 national Little Britches world champion team roper, will be competing in the team roping event on Saturday. The thing Ramsey is most looking forward to about the rodeo is the number of spectators coming to watch. He said that “at little towns, so many people come out that it is hard to find a seat.” It is expected that there may be as many as 1,500 spectators per night.
Local team roper Jarrett Keith is also looking forward to the number of spectators the event will attract.
“I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is honestly the amount of people I think it’s going to bring in,” he said. “Local people who may have no idea what a rodeo is even about. There are so many people around here who know what a rodeo is, of course, but they don’t really know that much about it.”
He pointed out that most professional rodeos are several hours away and having one in Kosciusko makes it more accessible to both local competitors and attendees.
Keith believes that having a PCA rodeo in Kosciusko will be beneficial.
“I think it’s going to be a really good opportunity for the community to see a totally different way of life than they’re used to,” he said. “There have always been horse shows around here but there is a big difference between horse shows and rodeos. I think this is going to open up a whole new aspect of way of life for a lot of people. We’ve needed something else in this town for a long time, and I think the rodeo is going to be exactly what we’ve needed.” Keith’s daughter Willa Kate will be competing in the mutton busting event.
The location is one of the things that barrel racer Angela Gilliam of Carthage is most looking forward to about the rodeo.
“This rodeo is kind of like a hometown rodeo for me,” she said. “I have several friends coming to watch me.”
Gilliam has ridden in competitions as far away as California and Montana. “I love the atmosphere at a rodeo and the adrenaline rush that you get running down the alley way.”
The PCA Heart of Mississippi Rodeo will be produced by the Deep South Rodeo Productions. It is responsible for bringing the arena, bleachers, livestock and more. The contractor is Jeremy Smith, and the announcer is Matt Ginn. Rodeo tickets are $15 each, and children 5 and under will be admitted free.