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Rodeo attracts riders from all over South

By Staff
CLEARING THE TURN Paulette McNeil, of Lauderdale County, clears the third turn in barrel racing competition Friday, the opening night of the semi-annual Ralph Morgan Pro Rodeo in Lauderdale. Competition, which has drawn participants from across the South, continues at 7:30 tonight at Morgan Arena. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
April 20, 2002
Paulette McNeil hopes weeks of practice will pay dividends this weekend as she participates in the Ralph Morgan Rodeo in Lauderdale.
McNeil is also the only participant from Lauderdale County.
The 53rd Ralph Morgan Semi Annual Pro Rodeo kicked off Friday night at Morgan Arena and concludes tonight with a show at 7:30 p.m., rain or shine.
Events include barrel racing, calf roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and saddle bronco riding. The younger children have the opportunity to participate in a calf scramble.
Joe Hernandez, 21, of Green River, Wyo., who has been riding bulls since he was 13, said he heard about the rodeo while staying in Stevenville, Texas, and made the trip over.
Kaylon Russell, 20, of Polk City, Fla., a barrel racer, said she saw an announcement in a rodeo magazine about the Ralph Morgan Rodeo.
Her best times range from 14 to 19 seconds around barrels placed in a clover leaf formation.
Mississippians participating include riders from Natchez, Brandon, Mt. Olive, Noxapater and Richton. Many of the participants are from other states, including Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia.