Panola County Cattlemen's Association PRCA Rodeo

Written by Teresa Dennard.

Held May 20-21

The month of May brings rodeo time to Carthage, Texas. On May 20-21, the Panola County Cattleman's Association hosts its 61st annual PRCA Rodeo. Two action-packed nights of racing, roping, and bucking provide excellent entertainment for the entire family. Roy Evans, Rodeo Chairman, has been working since January getting sponsors and finalizing details for the upcoming event. He says, "It costs a whole lot of money to put on a PRCA Rodeo, but we've always felt like it was worth it. You get what you pay for. If you want to see a good show, it costs a little more."

Evans states that putting on a rodeo is not something that can be done in just a few takes a lot of commitment from many people. "The week of rodeo is CRAZY! Lining everything up--making sure everything gets done--I couldn't do it without the help of my family plus a great rodeo committee," states Evans. Beginning at noon on Friday, Evans hardly has time to catch a breath until after the rodeo is completed on Saturday evening. "I start with making sure the ticket booths are ready. Then it's non-stop, from helping with the events and whatever the stock contractor needs, to checking the parking lot to make sure we have room for all the cars and trailers. Maybe by the time the bull riding starts, I can sit and watch for a few minutes. When the rodeo is over, I'm dragging the arena and getting ready for 'slack,' which runs till about 2:30 AM. On Saturday morning, it's right back at it again, starting with the Queen's contest."

"We try our best to put on a good show for everyone. Our stock contractor, Sammy Andrews, has been with us for 10 years and has great bucking stock. Mike Mathis, rodeo announcer, does his job from the back of a horse. He interacts with the crowd and calls the rodeo at the same time. Travis Adams from Gary, Texas, is one of our bullfighters, and he's been to the National Finals Rodeo. We contracted with a new barrel man last year, and he's nothing but the best. He's funny, plus he entertains the crowd with his trick riding. We added mutton bustin' a few years back, and it's been such a hit, we're letting more kids compete in the finals this year. Sometimes people worry about the weather, but the rodeo doesn't stop--we have it rain or shine! One year we had a storm that blew the lights out, and we had two bullfighters left. We backed up tractors and turned the lights on the ambulance and finished the rodeo. Even when it comes a flood, give me two hours, and you won't even know it has rained in the arena."

By the time he gets finished with Saturday night, Evans is glad the week is over. "We always have a good turnout...Carthage folks love the rodeo. That's the part I like, seeing everybody enjoy the rodeo. We love it, and you've gotta love it to do this."


Schedule of Events:
· Thursday, May 19
   -   Noon - Barbecue lunch for sale on the Square
   -   Rodeo Parade - 6:00 PM
· Friday, May 20 - Saturday, May 21
   -   Gate opens - 5:30 PM
   -   Queen Contestant Introductions - 6:15 PM
   -   Mutton Bustin' - 7:00 PM
   -   Grand Entry - 8:00 PM
   -   Slack - 10:45 PM
· Saturday, May 21
   -   Still Waters Cowboy Church Heritage Day - 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
   -   PRCA Queen's Contest, Mutton Bustin', Civil War Living History, Mounted Shooters
   -   Drill Team, Arts & Crafts Vendors and more