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Locals ready for hometown rodeo

Sunday, August 8, 2010

(Photo)
Carrie Thomas, seen above, is just one of many local participants in 2010 Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo. David Jenkins, Staff
SIKESTON -- While this year's Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, set to kick off this week, is sure to attract top talent from around the country, Southeast Missouri will once again be well represented.

Ty Ferrell and Carrie Thomas, both Sikeston natives, will once again be competing in their hometown rodeo and are sure to be crowd favorites.

"It's exciting every year," Ferrell said. "It always lives up to it's name. It's the hometown rodeo, it's a real fun rodeo and the Jaycees do a good job of putting it on."

After starting out strong in last year's team roping event before falling short of the money list, Ferrell said he's hoping this year will be a breakout year for him and partner Jerem Hemmann from Oak Ridge.

"We made a decent run in our first run in the performance (last year) and didn't win anything," he said. "In our second run we didn't do anything. We didn't take any money out of there last year, but maybe this year it will be different."

Ferrell, who competes on the Great Lakes Pro Rodeo Circuit, has been a stalwart at the Sikeston competition since they brought in team roping as an event 2006.

The same can be said for Thomas, who in 2000 had her best finish taking second in the barrel racing event, the same year she was named the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association's Great Lakes Circuit Rookie of the Year.

"I'm hoping to do better than I did last year," Thomas said, adding she finished fifth last year. "I'm riding a new horse that's doing extremely well this year and I have very high expectations for this year."

Thomas, who has rode in the Bootheel rodeo since she was 18-years-old, said she's been competing every weekend this summer and said she's had her best summer of her career so far.

Drawing slack, she will start her runs on Tuesday, which she said is a fortunate draw since she's on a new horse and there's less crowd pressure.

Things definitely aren't getting easier for local rider as, according to Ferrell, recent changes to the rodeo format has allowed for more top talent to take part,

"The best in the world come to Sikeston," Ferrell said. "It's set up to where they want to come. The Jaycee's have done a good job the last few years making it a tour rodeo. Last year they started with the performances being back-to-back, so like in the team roping where you run two steers, you get to run both of them in the same day. That's really helps the contestants out.

"A couple years ago a lot of the guys that were coming from out west, if they got up in slack, they'd rope in slack and then run off somewhere. Their performances were a little light, where this year and last year all the big name guys like the Trevor Brazile, Cody Ohl and the Shrine Brothers in the team roping all them guys they'll come and if they're up on a Friday or Saturday night they'll be here because they get to run both of their steers in one day. So it's real beneficial."

Chad Tibbs, also from Sikeston, rounds out the hometown competitors.

This year's festivities will get under way starting Monday with team roping and calf roping slack at 6 p.m.

Slack will carry over to Tuesday when barrel racing and steer wrestling will take place also at 6 p.m.

Admission to Monday and Tuesday events is free.