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World Championship Rodeo returns to Cumming

Event this weekend at fairgrounds

POSTED: September 1, 2012 1:30 p.m.
For the Forsyth County News/

Dave Horton, left, and rodeo announcer Gary Trammell set up speakers in preparation for the 2011 World Championship Rodeo at the Cumming Fairgrounds. This year’s event begins Saturday.

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Some of the country’s best cowboys and cowgirls will be in town this weekend as the Cumming Fairgrounds presents its annual World Championship Rodeo.

The event, set for the covered arena at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday, is sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association.

“All the contestants are competing for points toward the world championship in Oklahoma,” said Pam Treadway, who along with husband Ken brings the rodeo to Cumming each Labor Day weekend

“It’s a point for each dollar won [at sanctioned events throughout the year] and only the top 15 in the world qualify for the finals in each event.”

Since the event is IPRA-sanctioned, Treadway said it draws high-caliber contenders.

“That really affects the quality of the rodeo you see when it’s sanctioned by the IPRA,” she said.

Besides the cowboys and cowgirls, the rodeo will feature about 70 live animals in a range of events from bareback riding and barrel racing to steer wrestling and bull riding.

The animals are some of the best in the business, too, said fairground director Dave Horton.

“That’s one of the reasons we chose the Treadways as our rodeo contractor is they always have some of the top rodeo stock,” he said. “They’ve got bulls and horses that have been world champions or were in the finals.”

The pairing of high-performing animals and contestants makes for a lively show, Treadway added.

“If you had a superior animal over the quality of your contestants, or vice versa, it wouldn’t be good to watch,” she said. “But when you match them both up, they’re worthy adversaries.”

In addition to the point events, clown Huck Hano and specialty act Jessica Blair will entertain the audience.

“There’s one what we call ‘comedy funny man’ and his name is Hank Hano, and then I always put ‘a.k.a The Cajun Kid’ because he’s from Louisiana,” said Treadway, noting that Hano has been in the rodeo business for about 25 years.

“He has a mule that he has been hauling with him as long as he’s been in the rodeo business because mules live to be like 40 … it’s probably the best comedy mule act I’ve ever seen.”

Blair will present a Roman riding act.

“That’s where you stand on the backs of two running horses, with your left foot on one horse and your right foot on the other,” Treadway explained. “[Blair] rides them over fire torches and jumps, and she was selected to work this past International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, which is a big honor in our industry.”

Horton said the rodeo is always a big draw.

“Saturday night is usually a packed house and Sunday is not far behind,” he said. “It’s a good crowd and it’s always been a fun crowd.

“They’re real vocal, you know. The radio announcer gets them fired up and they’re clapping and stomping their feet and having a big time.”

Treadway said she and her husband always enjoying returning to town.

“They’re really big rodeo fans there,” she said. “I can always recognize some faces of people that I can tell come religiously to the rodeo.”

 

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