Rodeo brings money in for town parks, economy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CHAPEL HILL - A cowboy got stuck under a three-quarter-ton bull Saturday night at the rodeo here where hundreds of visitors came for the show coordinated by the town's recreation committee.

Five Lone Star Rodeo cowboys came out and a rodeo clown got on the bull's back so the rider could get untangled from under the 1,500 pound bull, Recreation Committee Chairman Craig Blackwell said.

Lone Star Rodeo Business Manager Rachel Boyd said the rider was not injured.

"That was Scott Buffington from Rome, Ga.," Boyd said. "And he placed in the bull riding event.

"He got up, walked out and, after waiting to get his money," she said, "he drove home."

Blackwell said attendance at the rodeo was about 2,500 for both nights combined. Police chief Jackie King had to direct traffic because the football jamboree was also in town.

"The first night was more of the local people and then the second night there were more out-of-towners because on Saturday night we were competing with the jamboree.

"The town was full of cars," Blackwell said. "I hope they left a lot of money, too.

"It was a good crowd that was well-pleased," the recreation chairman said. "It was a great night for the town of Chapel Hill. Children and old buckaroos were smiling all night.

"The recreation committee ran the concessions and the proceeds went to the Park and Rec Board," he said, turning to revenue. "We think it may be close to $1,800, to be on the safe side. I'm still waiting on some things to come in."

The rodeo was held at the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Complex on Depot Street.

"We had over 180 contestants come to Chapel Hill," Boyd said. "There was more than $25,000 in prize money paid out.

"And there were some local riders in some events," she said. "Tom Bourne of Chapel Hill helped put the rodeo on and he placed in the team roping competition. Darryl and Jordan Thrasher of Columbia placed in the calf-roping event.

Boyd's father, Preston Fowlkes, owns the rodeo and it was his father who started the rodeo in Franklin.

The rodeo family and town leaders are considering having the event in town again.