SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - In its third year, the Three Rivers College Rodeo aims to be better than ever.
After taking a page from the Sikeston JC Bootheel Rodeo’s book of how to successfully host and keep the public safe, organizers are looking forward to another successful event.
“We’re following strict protocol for the coronavirus, and we’re still rodeoing," said rodeo coach Chad Phipps, who planned to make this year’s rodeo, the best one yet.
“Last year, we were voted by all the coaches and the contestants the Ozark region rodeo of the year," he said.
Rodeo Event Coordinator Michelle Reynolds explained why it’s important to have the rodeo this year.
“As we’ve seen, the community just wants to have outdoor events," she said. "They want to get out and do things.”
But at the same time, she said they must remain safe.
“We are putting hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility," she explained. "Our crowd can definitely social distance at the event and we encourage them to do that and wear a mask.”
The Three Rivers College Rodeo takes place at the Bootheel rodeo grounds in Sikeston. With various colleges and universities in attendance, some of the members of the Three rivers rodeo team say competing this weekend will feel like a homecoming.
“I love the fact that our home rodeo is so close to home, because with me being a local, it’s just an hour drive for my parents to hop in a truck and come up here.”
Which is why family is what barrel racer Kay Shelley looks forward to seeing.
“Growing up, my dads always walked me into the gate," Shelley said. "And so having him kind of here, just kind of cheering me on in the stands, that’s mostly what I’m looking forward to.”
Student Athlete Railey Bradfield went from being a rodeo queen, to roping steers.
“I was the Ms. Sikeston JC Bootheel Rodeo Queen. I wanted to do something different and so I decided that I wanted to dip my toe in the water and try it out.”
Just like Rodeo Clown Greek Ellick, whose job is to keep riders safe.
“You make life and death decisions in a matter of a split second, not only for your life, but the life of your fallen comrades as well.”
As he makes it a point to keep the audience entertained.
“Big smile on their face, and autograph in their hand, and a lot of fun.”
The Three Rivers College Rodeo starts Thursday Night at 6 p.m. with adult ticket prices starting at $10.