Bartow County Championship Rodeo on tap for July 12-13

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Celebrating four decades in the rodeo business, Phillips Rodeo Productions will present the 38th annual Bartow County Championship Rodeo Friday and Saturday. As in past years, the event will take place at the Bartow County Saddle Club’s covered arena, 43 Saddle Club Drive.

Noting many rodeos fold before reaching their 38th year, Danny Phillips is “proud” to see the Bartow County Championship Rodeo continuing to entertain area residents.

“My late father Larry Phillips started the rodeo in Cartersville, Georgia, in 1982 with the help of Bartow County Saddle Club members Wayne Allen and Joel Boss,” said Phillips, who owns Phillips Rodeo Productions with his wife, Bridgett. “Larry wanted to bring rodeo action [to] the Bartow County area to be able to share the Western lifestyle with more children. He grew up watching Western TV shows when he was young and wanted to pass his love for cowboys and horses to another generation.”

Kicking off at 8 both nights, the Bartow County Championship Rodeo will feature many popular offerings, such as bull riding.

“This rodeo is one of the PCA rodeos where contestants’ winnings at this rodeo count toward their advancement to Professional Cowboy Finals Rodeo in Biloxi, Mississippi, in January 2020,” Phillips said, referring to the Professional Cowboy Association. “The Bartow County Championship Rodeo was also named Humanitarian Rodeo of the Year by the PCA for our Tough Enough to Wear theme to raise awareness of breast cancer and importance of getting a yearly mammogram.

“The fan favorite each year is the bull riding. They love to see the cowboys try to ride the massive bulls for 8 seconds. The next favorite event is the ladies barrel racing event. It’s a fast event with even faster horse and the ladies get [to] show off their riding skills.”

Along with providing “great family entertainment,” Bartow County Saddle Club Parliamentarian Wayne Allen shared the rodeo will serve as a fundraiser for the Bartow County Saddle Club. Founded in 1961, the organization is the oldest saddle club in the state.

“The funds go toward several charities that we are involved in. We’ve built rooms at the old Sam Howell hospital,” Allen said, also noting the group administers scholarships to high school seniors. “… It’s all volunteers.

“We don’t retain a dime of it,” he said about the club’s membership. “It all goes back into the community when we get our expenses paid.”

The cost to attend the rodeo will be $15 for general admission and $10 for children 6 to 12. Youngsters 5 and younger will be admitted at no charge. Parking also will be complimentary.

Further details can be obtained by visiting the rodeo’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bartowcountychampionshiprodeo, or calling 706-218-0382.