Rodeo Showdown coming up at fairgrounds

PAUL SCHAUMBURG/Graves County Schools

The United Livestock Commodities 2019 Rodeo Showdown is scheduled at the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds at 7:30 p.m. May 11. Prior to the rodeo, Rodney Nance will entertain the crowd with his music, starting at 6 p.m. The Mayfield and Graves County Family Resource and Youth Services Centers sponsor the event and partner with Rafter M Rodeo Promotions. Pictured in the photo above is the Bronco Busting event from last year.

The Mayfield/Graves County Fairgrounds will be the scene of the United Livestock Commodities 2019 Rodeo Showdown on May 11 benefiting Family Resource Youth Service Centers at Mayfield and Graves County Schools.

Paul Schaumburg, community relations director for Graves County Schools, said the event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the rodeo, Rodney Nance will entertain the crowd with music starting at 6 p.m.

The Mayfield and Graves County Family Resource and Youth Services Centers sponsor the event and partner with Rafter M Rodeo Promotions for the third straight year. Overall, this marks the event's fifth consecutive year.

Admission is $10 each for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6-12, and free to ages 5 and younger.

"(Graves County Judge-Executive) Jesse Perry suggested bringing the rodeo to Mayfield as a fundraiser for family resource and youth services centers to support the services we offer to students and families," said Wingo Elementary School FRC director Tana Jones, an unofficial spokesman for FRYSC groups at both districts.

Bringing the rodeo to Mayfield depends on a number of local sponsors, most of whom regularly support the work of both the Mayfield and Graves County school systems, she explained. Their donations make it possible to bring a national caliber event to Graves County, providing something the entire family can enjoy together.

The competition includes bareback bronco riding, saddle-broke riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, cowgirl breakaway roping and cowgirl barrel racing, among others. Additionally, an 11-year-old girl, Oralee Madison, will showcase Roman-style riding on her horse.

Concession stands will sell snacks and beverages and vendors also will offer novelty items for sale for children behind the grandstand.

"I just hope everybody can come out and enjoys it, because we put a lot of effort into it," said Rafter M Promotions owner/operator Dennis Morris. "Those folks at the Graves County Schools do an excellent job to raise money for those kids in the school system. They work really hard and we work really hard to try to put on a good, professional event. When you've got two bodies of people working together as hard as we do, it's got to be good."

The event is sanctioned and approved by the International Professional Rodeo Association. All the contestants are riding for points in the International Rodeo Competition in Oklahoma City in January.

"So, every dollar they win at this rodeo is a point toward the finals," Morris said.

Jerry Belles, the rodeo announcer for last year's event in Mayfield, returns this year. He has been voted the organization's announcer of the year about 17 times.

This year's rodeo clown, Braden Tate, was the winner of the rodeo clown showcase competition last year.

Some 114 contestants competed last year, a large number by comparison for rodeos of this size, according to the news release.