Rodeo time in Walterboro this weekend | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | May 5, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 6, 2016 at 11:34 am
By ROBERT DRIGGERS
It’s rodeo time in Walterboro as the Double D Arena welcomes the 26th annual International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) to the Lowcountry on Friday and Saturday .
Gates will open at 6 p.m. with the opening ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. Admission is $20 with children under 10 admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased at Buck’s Pizza for $18. The only IPRA sanction event in the Lowcountry, the rodeo is an alcohol-free, family event on Rodeo Drive in Colleton County.
The annual rodeo offers something for everyone to enjoy. Kids can experience games, jump castles, and pony rides. Venders will be on site selling western wear including hats, belts and shirts, etc. A variety of food trailers will also be available.
Professional cowboys and cowgirls will participate in this two-day event; however, individuals only perform for one night. The next night, a new set of professional cowboys and cowgirls compete. The scores are recorded each night and sent to Oklahoma to be compiled with scores from other competitions held throughout the year. The professional cowboys and cowgirls follow the rodeo circuit across the country, coming from Texas, Oklahoma and as far away as Canada to enter the rodeo here in Walterboro.
But entry is not limited to just the professionals. Local cowboy and cowgirls may enter various events. Lowcountry riders have entered the bull riding and barrel racing events in past rodeos.
The rodeo will feature nine events including bronc riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, calf roping and bull riding. A new event this year will be girls’ calf roping. For entertainment between events, Double D has invited a girls’ trick riding exhibition for the first time.
Ken Treadway of Laurens will supply the livestock for the rodeo. The Treadway Rodeo Company is well known for its paint horses and patriotic opening ceremony. Treadway’s livestock is well known throughout the rodeo circuit and brings some of the best bulls and horses to these shows.
Unlike most rodeos, the Double D Rodeo has no committee or board of directors to coordinate all the events. If Dale Evans was known as the “Queen of the Cowgirls,” then Double D owner Tommy Derry should be known as the “Queen of the Rodeo.” Derry has overseen and coordinated all the activities associated with the rodeo since its first year, 26 years ago. The Walterboro Rodeo is a well-known event throughout the country and its reputation keeps cowboys and cowgirls coming back year after year to the Lowcountry. It is expected that this year’s rodeo will draw 10,000-12,000 people for the two-night event. In fact, fans have come from as far away as England to attend this rodeo.
Last year, Derry was recognized as the first female promoter of an IPRA event. She received an award at the finals of the IPRA finals in Oklahoma City last year.
The Walterboro Rodeo is a community event that is recognized as a place where families can bring their children and have a good time. Not only does the rodeo helps out the community by bringing thousands of people to Walterboro, the boy scouts assist in parking cars for a donation to help offset expenses associated with their programs during the year.
Derry said, “We would like to invite everyone to come out and have a good time at the rodeo. It is geared toward a family-oriented event and we feel that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it is the horses, the cows, the bulls or the clowns, the rodeo is meant for everyone to have a good time. We look forward to seeing everybody Friday and Saturday night.”