HOPE – The 57th outing of the Hope High School FFA Rodeo promises to be a wild ride.
The completely student-produced rodeo, the oldest and largest of its kind in Arkansas, stampedes out of the gates at Hope Fair Park Coliseum Arena for three nights, April 14-16, at 7 p.m. each night.
The event will be divided into two productions, with Old Timer’s Night on April 14, featuring a six-event program for HHS alumni, according to FFA Advisor Christina Smith.
“We changed it for the old timers to let them compete after three years out of school,” Smith said.
She said the event was formerly for alumni who had been graduated for at least five years.
Old Timer’s Night events will include chute dogging, team roping, roping, wild steer tagging, and barrel racing.
The student performances Friday and Saturday will feature a program of 15 events this year, according to Smith.
“We also divided the pole bending into junior and senior categories,” she said.
Events each night in the Friday and Saturday performances will include bareback riding, junior bull riding, senior bull riding, goat tying, calf roping, pig scramble, wild steer tagging, mutton busting, barrel pickup, chute dogging, barrel racing, junior and senior poles, and pig dressing.
Calf haltering and hide ride events will be divided between the two nights.
Winners in each event and an All-Around Cowboy and All-Around Cowgirl will be announced at the conclusion of the Saturday performance.
FFA junior royalty will also be selected during the two nights of student competition with parade and voting each night, and naming of a junior rodeo queen on Friday night.
The senior division queen will be elected by the FFA chapter prior to the rodeo and announced at the event.
FFA chapter members toured primary and elementary schools prior to the rodeo during Western Day at each campus to explain the event and encourage student attendance, Smith said.
Chapter officers include senior Bobby Johnson, president; senior Chase Jones, vice president; junior Summer King, secretary; junior Ebony Murrow, treasurer; junior Melodie Maurer, reporter; junior Laith Zimmer, sentinel; and, senior Ashley Rodden, junior advisor.
“This is our 57th year; it’s one of the biggest events of the year,” Smith said. “It is a big event for the community, and one of the few that brings our alumni and the community together.”
Concessions for the three-night rodeo will be available inside the coliseum.
Tickets are $5 each at the gate.