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Ralph Morgan Rodeo rides again

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Aug. 15, 2003
Rodeo fans will be riding high in the saddle this weekend when the 56th semi-annual Ralph Morgan Rodeo kicks off tonight at the Ralph Morgan Arena in Lauderdale.
The rodeo, which is held every April and August, will last two nights and begins at 8 p.m. both days. Admission each night is $10 for adults and $6 for children age 12 and under.
The rodeo will feature competitions in bareback riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, and barrel racing. Nearly 200 athletes from states throughout the Southeast will compete. There will also be a calf scramble for children.
Morgan said the event draws fans from throughout Mississippi and Alabama, and that only about half of the spectators come from Meridian.
One attraction at this weekend's rodeo is the appearance by three-time PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) world champion bull rider Tuff Hedeman on Friday night. Hedeman became the first $1 million bull rider in 1993, and was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1997.
Hedeman was also featured in the 1994 film "8 Seconds," which focused on Hedeman and his friend, the late Lane Frost. Frost was portrayed by Luke Perry, and Hedeman was played by Stephen Baldwin.
Hedeman will be available for autographs and pictures at the Rush Hospital tent outside the rodeo on Friday evening, beginning at 6 p.m.. The first 100 ticket holders at the tent will also receive an autographed t-shirt from Hedeman.