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HENDERSON, Texas – For the 25th anniversary of the Rusk County PRCA Rodeo, organizers are making some significant changes.
The first is in the name. From this year forward, it will be known as the Black Gold Stampede, a tip of the cap to the east Texas oil industry. In addition, the event takes place the third weekend of October instead of the second, which had been longstanding dates.
It all adds up to positive things for Henderson’s rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18-Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Rusk County Expo Center.
“We decided to rebrand our rodeo in honor of our past and to mark it perfectly since this is our 25th anniversary,” said Ryan Ellis, a key member of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual rodeo. “A lot of rodeos have a tag line of what they’re known for, so we think this will fit fine.
“Being one week later is a lot better for us. We’re trying to be as attractive as possible for contestants.”
With other rodeos taking place the second weekend of the month, the committee decided that moving dates would help draw more contestants to an already exciting rodeo. That’s also one of the reasons the event teams with the talented staff of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the top stock contracting firms in Pro Rodeo.
“Pete has been a good advocate for helping us grow our rodeo,” Ellis said. “We have a small market, and he’s always been available to give us a hand. Anytime we need advice, he’ll hook us up with someone who can help.”
Carr also has been instrumental in drawing contestants to Henderson for the rodeo. In addition to having some of the best livestock in Pro Rodeo, he has also stepped out of the box and developed a series that concludes in Rusk County.
Throughout the season, cowboys and cowgirls who compete at Carr events nationwide are also part of the Pete Carr Big Truckin’ Series. The contestants with the most money earned through the season advance to Henderson, where they will be awarded Rtic coolers. Inside the coolers will be a key to a RAM pickup; the person holding the key that unlocks the vehicle will win that as the top prize in the series.
“It’s really cool that Pete does that, sets it up to where those cowboys and cowgirls get their awards here in Henderson,” Ellis said. “We hope that will draw a few more contestants, and we really appreciate Pete doing that.”
The Black Gold Stampede will also feature clown John Harrison, a three-time PRCA Comedy Act of the Year. It’s just another step to providing rodeo fans in Henderson with the best experience possible.
“We’re really pushing our vendors for other activities outside of the arena that they can enjoy when they get here,” Ellis said, noting the Cowboy Fun Zone will include boutique shopping, pony rides, petting zoo and a mechanical bull.
That’s exactly what fans will get when they arrive.