Rodeo out of the gate April 15

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By Scott Akanewich
Sports Editor

Anyone with a hankering for some rough-and-tumble ranching action will be pleased to know the annual Liberty Hill Fair & Rodeo is scheduled for April 15-18 at the Harvest Ranch Arena.

According to Williamson County Cowboy Church Pastor Corey Ross, holding the event on the grounds of the church is a no-brainer based on a few principle factors.

“We’re a Cowboy Church and cowboys do rodeos,” said Ross. “We have the only professional rodeo arena in the area and I’ve been a professional rodeo cowboy for 30 years. So, we know how to put on a rodeo.”

Highlighting the rodeo will be the Ron Ross Memorial Steer Roping Event, which is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and will take place April 17-18.

Open rodeo events will include Bareback, Mini Bareback, Tie Down, Girls’ Breakaway, Saddle Bronc, Mini Saddle Bronc, Team Roping, Steer Roping, High School Challenge Steer Saddling, Barrel Racing, Junior Barrels, Mini Bulls and Bull Riding.

Ross said the rodeo is intended to be separate from his church, although members help stage it.

“This rodeo has turned into one of the largest events in this area,” he said. “We’ve never made this event a church rodeo. We want it to be a community event. But, the volunteers that put on the rodeo are from our church.”

In addition, Ross believes after the past year and everything people have been through, the event provides a perfect opportunity to begin to restore a sense of normalcy.

“It will be great fellowship,” he said. “People are ready to get back to normal. Last year, we had to move the rodeo to June because of the pandemic. People were ready to get out. We broke attendance records every night.”

All events will occur nightly, as the rodeo will begin each evening at 7:30 p.m.

Mutton busting will also be featured for young cowboys and cowgirls who are seven and under and weigh 65 pounds and under, with belt buckles being given to nightly winners.

In addition, a total of six scholarships will be presented to Liberty Hill High School students, including one in memory of late Panthers head football coach Jeff Walker, as well as one for military, two for higher education and two for vocational.

Sponsors for the event include the City of Liberty Hill, United Heritage Credit Union and Johnson-Sewell Ford.

There will also be a carnival complete with rides and games, along with vendors and concessions.

Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children age 3-12, with children two and under admitted free. Parking will also be free.

Ross said he hopes to provide an experience for the community that is something outside what many may be familiar with.

“I want people to come and enjoy a great family event,” he said. “I want them to experience the western way of life. We want them to see a sporting event that was around before there were football and other sports. Riding a horse was the only way to travel back in the day.”

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