By: Audrey Flagg, Kentucky Exposition Center Examiner Special Contributor
John Wayne. Annie Oakley. Woody from A Toy Story.
America has always idolized its cowboys and cowgirls. These stars of the West are celebrated for their bravery and skill, and receive admiration from people all over the world. The North American Championship Rodeo brings real-life cowboys and girls center-stage in November at Freedom Hall for three nights of roping, riding, racing and wrestling.
Held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition, it features several rodeo classics such as bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, women’s barrel racing, steer wrestling, cattle tie-down, and bull riding. Several fan-favorites will be returning for this year’s rodeo including announcer Roger Mooney, Rockin’ Rodeo Clown Robbie Hodges, and Equine Extremist and entertainer Tommie Turvey, who will wow crowds with comedic tricks with his horse, PokerJoe.
The rodeo features riders from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit competing for more than $80,000 worth of prizes, the second largest amount of money for a circuit championship, and a Regional Champion title. The circuit includes riders from the nine-state region of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The excitement brought in more than 18,500 spectators in 2010.
The event has proved to be a great time for rodeo-lovers and first time visitors alike, and a favorite for families looking for an affordable entertainment option. The danger, excitement, professionalism and passion of the riders shine through and allow patrons to feel the rush.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. Friday, November 11 will be “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night. Fans and contestants are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for the fight against breast cancer. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Horses for Hope.
Prices can be found on the North American International Livestock Exhibition website. Tickets are sold at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) Ticket Office, the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) Ticket Office, and all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information on buying tickets from the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office visit their website.