Local rodeo attracts participants of all ages, skill

Oralee Madison, 9, presents the American Flag to kick of the 35th year of the Lone Star Rodeo in Bowling Green, Ky. on February 10, 2017. Madison is a fourth generation member of the Lone Star Rodeo Company.

Michelle Hanks

Leather n’ Dirt

People do not attend rodeos just for the adrenaline and entertainment. Rodeos also hold significance to people because of the memories, lifestyle and family tradition embedded in the sport.

Alan Rich, a carpenter from Bee Springs dedicates time every year to attend the Lone Star Rodeo in Bowling Green. He said he keeps going to the rodeos because of his connection with horses and connection with  the western lifestyle.

“I just like the western stuff,” Rich said. “I’ve always had horses and grew up on them. Always been a cowboy at heart, I guess.”

Rich rides barrel horses,  likes to watch the rodeo for the horses and the memories he has with his own.

“I have great memories with my horses,” Rich said. The horses are just so loyal to you. I couldn’t live without my horses.”

The Lone Star Rodeo Company put on their 35th show in Bowling Green, last weekend. According to co-manager Rachel Boyd, the company started 68 years ago by her grandfather.

The WKU Agriculture Exposition Center hosted the rodeo on Feb. 10, 11 and 12. The event had several contests,  including bareback bronc riding, calf roping, and bull riding.

Many cowboys and cowgirls who performed in the show were also introduced to rodeos because of their family tradition.

Justin Bryant, 16, full-time bull rides. He has been riding bulls since he was 5-years-old. He started because of his uncle.

“My uncle Josh has always done it, and I guess it was just in my family for me to do it. Figured I might as well come out here and do what I had to do.”

A part of the reason why Bryant enjoys rodeos is the feeling that comes when riding a bull.

“The first time I ever got on,  it felt great,” Bryant said. “ I never wanted to get off of him. I just wanted to keep going.”

However, the biggest  and ultimate reason why he loves rodeos is the lifestyle that comes with it.

“I love being a cowboy is because there ain’t nothing else that I could be,” Bryant said. “ I feel like I couldn’t be anything else but a cowboy. I love riding bulls, I just love the atmosphere.”