ST. GEORGE — Dixie Roundup royalty toured area schools this week to share the secrets of rodeo and invite students to opening night. The Dixie Roundup opens Thursday. The crowd got a first look at Captain Clucker, a new character in the clown act, and practiced the finer points of the chicken dance with the rodeo crew.
Rodeo clown Randee Munns explained the finer points of bullriding, team roping and barrel racing to enthusiastic crowds of wiggling grade-schoolers.
Bullfighters Aaron Ferguson and Joe Butler shared the dynamics of working as a bullfighting team. Ferguson made it clear what they would face in the arena.
“The bulls that we use in our rodeo, from Bar T, they’re really mean. They’re bred that way. So their mom’s mean and their dad’s mean and so they’re mean,” Ferguson said to a rapt audience. “So when the bullrider falls off, the bull wants to chase somebody. Joe and I make ourselves the best target for the bull and make sure we’re the ones that he chases.”
Dixie Roundup Queen Sarah Kemp and Princess McKinley Drake brought some glamour to the show sharing their experiences as rodeo royalty.
“Who here thinks we’re just here to look pretty?” Kemp asked. After an overwhelming show of hands, she set the record straight. “It’s our job to educate people about the Dixie Roundup because we’re the Dixie Roundup royalty, and rodeo in general.”
Kemp explained the study required on the road to the crown such as horsemanship, rodeo knowledge and public speaking. She shared a pageant tip or two with the students, showing them how to stand and wave like a rodeo queen.
More than 10 schools will get the royal rodeo treatment by the time the tour concludes Thursday.
The 81st Dixie Roundup gets underway Thursday. Opening night is Kids Night. All children ages 11 and under are admitted free with an adult ticket-holder.
The Sunbowl gates open at 6 p.m. nightly. Tickets are available at the gate. For information and advance ticket purchase, call 435-673-3301.
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- St. George Lions crown Dixie Roundup Rodeo Queen, Princess; STGnews Videocast
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