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Prospect Fire Department to host rodeo

After 59 years of holding a fundraiser Harvest Sale, the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) has changed tactics and decided to hold its first-ever rodeo.

“The auction had more or less panned out,” PVFD Chief Al Foster said. “We weren’t getting stuff like we had been getting, and people weren’t turning out like they had before. We wanted to try something different.”

The event will be handled by True Grit Rodeos out of Hurt, True Grit’s Daniel Lanier said. “We have a home arena here and offer bull riding schools,” as well as teaching other rodeo jobs, Lanier added.

There will be three levels of bull riding and cowgirls’ barrel racing, Lanier said.

Spectators can expect to enjoy the work of SEBRA (Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association) professionals as they try to keep atop literal raging bulls.

“These guys get on the best of the best,” Lanier said. “They ride the bull for eight seconds with a loose braided rope while only holding on with one hand. They may not touch the bull with their other hand.” The total possible score for a perfect ride is 100 points.

Mini bull riding involves kids of various ages — “as young as 6 years old,” Lanier said — riding full grown miniature bulls that weigh around 700 pounds.

Rookie bull riding is also on the agenda. Rookie riding is a division of beginners that must still ride a bull at a lower level and follow all of the rules as the professionals, Lanier said.

Cowgirls’ barrel racing will also be presented. “Cowgirls team up with their equine friends to have a horse race,” Lanier said. “There are three barrels; they must run in a clover leaf pattern, leave all three barrels standing and the fastest time wins.”

Top prize for the bull riders will be somewhere around $1,200, Lanier said. There will be $1,750 in added prize money for bull riders and $750 in added prize money for barrels, rookies and International Miniature Bullriding Association riders.

Lanier had praise for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department as well. “This is a wonderful organization that has worked countless hours to bring a fun family event to your hometown,” he said. “Please come show your support to a group of volunteers that day in and day out will put their lives in danger to help you and your community. Also, please like our Facebook page to follow us for updates and information.”

“Children under age 9 get in free with a paying adult,” PVFD secretary Kevin Foster said. “We are hoping to have it again next year and possibly make it bigger.”

The Prospect Fire Department’s rodeo will be held at Blue Willow Farm, 1045 S. James Madison Hwy in Farmville on Saturday, October 9. Gates open at noon with a 2 p.m. showtime. Food will be available; no coolers are allowed. Tickets are $20 at the gate; children under 9 get in free.