February 7, 2013 9:19:47 AM
More than 250 cowboys and cowgirls will descend on the Mississippi Horse Park as it hosts the annual Rotary Classic Rodeo Friday and Saturday.
The contestants represent 21 states, and some will travel from as far as Brazil and Canada to compete in Starkville Rotary's largest fund-raiser. Only 16 of the contestants hail from Mississippi.
Bricklee Miller, director of the Horse Park, said the event will be as family friendly, as it is competitive, but stressed that this is a professional event.
Friday night has been dubbed Kid's Night, and children under age 12 will be admitted free, courtesy of the event's sponsors. Saturday night will include pony rides and a petting zoo, which will begin at 5 p.m. on the arena floor and will last until 6:45.
The rodeo will feature two nights of bull riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding and team roping.
"Come expecting the best shows since the cowboys and cowgirls who will be contending are striving to qualify to compete in Las Vegas later this year in the National Finals Rodeo," said Miller. "We want people to realize this is a great family event, but these contestants are pros and very competitive. It is awesome to get this type of major event right here in Oktibbeha County."
Discounted advanced tickets are on sale now at the following ticket outlets: Oktibbeha County Co-op, Tractor Supply Company and the GSDP office in Starkville, and Mitchell Automotive in West Point. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $12 for adults. Children under 12 pay only $5 on Saturday. Adult tickets purchased either night at the Mississippi Horse Park gate will be $15.
For more information, call the Mississippi Horse Park Event Line at 662-325-0508 or follow on Facebook at MS Horse Park.