34th Year For The Benton Championship Rodeo In Columbia County

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The Benton Rodeo Association has been drawing in fans to its championship rodeo and Bull-A-Rama for 34 years in Columbia county. Mel Parks is the general chairperson calling all the shots.

"With all the work that goes into this it's great to see all the people back every year having a good time," said Mel.

Bare back and saddle bronc riding are a must see for all fans.

Along with steer wrestling. And calf roping.

Sam Swearingen runs Rawhide Rodeo.

"I came and rode at the first Benton rodeo they had and it's grown immensely over the years. I've been producing the rodeo for 25 years. We just love coming here and scenery is beautiful, the weather the people it's just a fantastic time," said Sam.

Between the USA and Canada rodeo companies they do about 40 shows a year. They do take time off in the wintertime to raise the livestock and the rodeo rolls does roll on here in the northeast the next two weekends.

The Benton rodeo chicks are the opening act and the local tie it. Tryouts we're held in march and the team picked for this precision drill.

"They take their horses and they have to keep them in sequence and keep certain spaces apart. They have to turn at the same time. They have to do weaving in and out without hitting each other," said Tara Konopinski.

Dusti Dickerson on the back on Doc and Royal headlines this year's specialty act. It's a trust built now over 20 years.

"So I have a lot of trust in my horses. There is always that element of danger when you have two live animals when they are as big and fast as they are, but I train with them every single day and I trust them 10 fold," said Dusti.

The rodeo runs through Sunday July 22nd with the Bull-A-Rama at 7:30 that night.

Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Columbia county.

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