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WINNSBORO, La. – The Deep South PRCA rodeo is entrenched in tradition, and that’s just the way folks in this berg of 4,800 people like it.
“This is our 60th year, and a lot of it is family oriented,” said Buckshot Jones, chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual rodeo. “A lot of the guys on the committee are the grandkids to the ones that started it 60 years ago.”
This year’s festivities are set for 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3-Saturday, Aug. 5, at Deep South Rodeo Arena in Winnsboro.
“Whenever they approached me in ’98 to be on the committee, I was still rodeoing,” Jones said. “I was at the tail end of my career. My grandad was one of the founding members of it, and it was like a light switch.
“It’s something special, and I know there are several other guys who think the same way. We are carrying on a legacy.”
Family is always special, and rodeo seems to have a big extended one. Winnsboro’s rodeo includes longtime components in clown Rudy Burns, announcer Andy Stewart and the crew from Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, the event’s producer.
“Pete’s a good friend of mine, and I’ve known him since the early ’90s,” Jones said. “His word has always been his bond. He’s shot straight with us, and that’s what it takes nowadays to make anything possible.”
Carr has been nominated for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year five straight times and has had more animals at the last four Wrangler National Finals Rodeos than any other producer.
“Pete brings the best stock in the world, and he’s got a following of cowboys that want to get on that stuff,” Jones said. “It makes it easier on us; if we’re going to sell sponsorships and have rear-ends in the seats, that’s what makes the whole thing happen.”
Proof of that came last year, when two-time NFR qualifier Evan Jayne won the bareback riding title, and Louisianan Cody DeMoss – a 12-time NFR qualifier and the 2017 champion of The American – earned the saddle bronc riding victory.
“We are the largest outdoor rodeo in Louisiana,” Jones said. “This arena has a lot of history, and we take pride with that.”
“We’ve lost three committee members this year, so we will honor them during our rodeo,” he said. “When we have these things, we really make a special thing out of it. We’re a pretty tight-knit group, and we all like it that way.”
That’s just another reason the Deep South PRCA Rodeo continues to be a success.