Local athletes gear up for rodeo
By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
April 11, 2002
Kasidi Griffin will be among more than 100 wranglers competing this weekend in a high school rodeo in Lauderdale County their goal is to earn a berth in the national finals.
Griffin, 18, a senior at Newton County Academy, will practice today with her quarterhorse, Star, for one of 40 rodeos she will participate in this year for fun and prizes, but most of all for the love of the sport.
The Tri-State High School Rodeo Competition, will be held Friday and Saturday at 7:30 each night and on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center on Highway 19 South in Meridian.
Admission will be $5 per person at the gate.
The rodeo is sponsored by the East Central Mississippi Rodeo Club and is sanctioned by the Mississippi High School Rodeo Association.
Bullriding, roping, barrel racing and pole bending are just a few of the activities in which contestants from Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee will earn points, each hoping to advance to bigger tournaments.
Rob Seal, director of the Agri-Center, said the high school rodeo "is very popular," and one of the biggest among livestock events, now in its third year, at the center.
Seal said several local competitors have recently excelled at the local tournament and moved on to the national finals.
Griffin, who practices at the Agri-center and at her own arena, is among those looking to make it to New Mexico.
Having participated in rodeos since age five, Griffin plans to attend East Central Community College and compete professionally.
She has already won trophies, buckles, money and supplies used for caring for her horses. The one prize that has eluded her is winning a saddle. One of this weekend's events, the barrel racing, will provide $500 upon victory.
Competition events will include, among others, barrel racing, bullriding, calf roping and team calf roping that includes two person teams. Bucking horse events will include saddle bronc and bareback competition.
Seal said he expects to see 150 to 200 contestants and the contestants will bring about 150 horses.
The rodeo has attracted a high turnout of spectators in past years. This weekend, Seal said he expects almost a capacity of 2,000 spectators.
Among other teens, spectators will get to see Griffin fulfilling a passion in their sport.