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Community set to celebrate Scooba Day

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
Aug. 29, 2003
For many people, Monday will be a day of rest and relaxation. But for the community of Scooba, Labor Day is filled with barbecue, fun and lots of horsing around.
Held each Labor Day for the past 60 years, Scooba Day is sponsored by the Scooba Riding Club and the 11th-grade class at Kemper Academy.
About 700 spectators will be on hand at the Scooba Riding Arena to get an up-close look at the area's best equestrian athletes.
An estimated 75 riders will participate in events such as barrels-and-poles, halter and timed races and youth break-away roping. Winners will receive feed and trophies.
Moore said the show is special because anyone can ride, not just experienced horseman.
Horsemen and women are expected from Livingston, Ala., Columbus, West Point, Louisville, Quitman and Yazoo City. Riders will be divided into age groups: 12 and under, 13-17 and 18 or older.
Kids join the action during the goat throw an event that allows kids to run into the arena and attempt to put a rope around a goat's neck.
The calf scramble is also fun for children. Contestants chase calves around the arena trying to retrieve a ribbon that is tied around the animal's tail.
One of the most popular events is the balloon race where kids run into the arena, retrieve a balloon out of a bucket, sit on the balloon and pop it and run back across the finish line. The fastest time wins.
Plenty of food will be sold. The 11th-grade class at Kemper Academy will serve slow cooked pork. Whole hogs are cooked in a barbecue pit and plates will be sold for $5.50 all day.
Scooba Day began as a community gathering. It was already established when C.R. Irby, moved into the Scooba area from Alabama in 1965.
Charter members of the Scooba Riding Club include C.R. Irby, the late Callie Smith, the late Clifton McConnell, the late John Kenneth Briggs Sr., the late Marcus Warren and the late T.P. Smith.
The Scooba Riding Club traditions continue today. Tina Irby said many of the founding members' grandchildren are now actively involved in the club.
Sign-up begins at 9 a.m. with the horse show getting under way at 10 a.m. Negative Coggins Test papers must accompany all horses entering grounds.
Scooba is about 40 miles north of Meridian on U.S. 45. The event will go on rain or shine.