Not horsing around: Thousands attend annual sheriff’s rodeo

Published 6:45 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Chambers County Sheriff’s Rodeo returned for the 29th time this weekend. Throughout the two-day event, around 2,100 people attended, according to Mike Parrish, chief deputy of the sheriff’s office. 

Before the evening festivities, the CCSO hosted a special needs rodeo, another annual tradition. Students and adults from the county and surrounding area came to have an early preview; enjoying games, petting some animals, and seeing a pared-down version of the rodeo. Students from Chambers Academy and Valley High School volunteered to run the games. 

Most of the headcount wore cowboy hats, which were sold at one of the many vendors at the event. Concessions were also sold, which raised money for the sheriff’s office reserve force. This was the first year the CCSO used Frontier Rodeo as a partner. The group provided the livestock, including a water buffalo and entertainment. 

Email newsletter signup

This year’s new events were mutton riding for the kids and steer dressing. The former has little kids ride on the backs of sheep for as long as they can, similar to bull riding, minus the danger. Steer dressing saw volunteers from the audience form teams to put a pair of shorts on a steer. On the first night, a team member of the group that won walked away with a torn shirt and $300. 

Cowboys and cowgirls from around the rodeo circuit then competed in events including saddle bronc, roping, bull riding, and entertainment from the barrel man, also known as the rodeo clown. 

The sheriff’s office started the event under former Sheriff Sid Lockhart. Lockhart started the rodeo as a way to raise money for the office, separate from the county funding. 

This was the second rodeo for current sheriff Jeff Nelson. The office is still totaling the amount of money raised from the event. Nelson hopes to use the money to outfit his deputies with higher-grade body armor, thermal imaging scopes and upgrades to the patrol vehicles.