First Rodeo in Mint Hill was a huge success

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The Town of Mint Hill hosted it’s first Rodeo this past weekend on April 21 -22.  The local Mint Hill Historical Society played a significant role in getting the South Carolina High School Rodeo Association(SCHSRA) to schedule a date to ride into our town.

Cowgirls getting ready for the opening ceremony.

The primary sponsors of the event included Griffin Masonry, Liberty Buick GMC Trucks, Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge and Jeep, Novant Health, H & H Plumbing, Griffin Oil, J.O. Flowe Grading, Blue Dot Readi-Mix.  Other sponsors were WD Smith Grading, Vulcan Materials, First Citizens Bank, Savvy Realty, Mr. Inspection of Mint Hill, First National Bank, South End Plumbing, Dulin Mechanical, Providence Financial Resources, Chick-fil-A, Coffey Can Fix it, with special thanks to Mini Mac Storage Center.

The SCHSRA has been in existence for 40 years to provide high school students who want to participate in the sport of Rodeo an opportunity to fulfill their pursuit to learn new skills and compete.

Allen Sligh Junior High Coordinator and Host introduces an event.

The training and events are supervised by knowledgeable adult mentors and coaches.  The top four contestants in each event annually are eligible to represent their state at the National Finals Rodeo held by the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) who has members from 42 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.  The NHSRA mission is to promote the sport of Rodeo through good sportsmanship, conduct a high level of integrity, and portray a positive image to the general public.  Also, to preserve our Western heritage, provide an opportunity for family bonding, promote continued education and to maintain the highest regard for the livestock.  There are events for boys and girls and even combined joint team events for middle school kids and teenagers to participate.

Cowboy takes down a calf.

For those who maybe concerned about the animals welfare it is important to recognize these animals receive excellent care.  They are provided with affection, food, sanitary living conditions and great medical care from professional veterinarian physicians.  The health of these animals is extremely critical because the Rodeo has a vested interest in their wellbeing.

Becky Griffin, Executive Director for the Mint Hill Historical Society was very excited about the support and crowd size from the local community.

Becky met with SCHSRA President, Lori Peyton from Marshville, NC a little more than a year ago to discuss how they could get middle school kids to build a barn to tell the story and history of farming in Mint Hill.  What transpired next was the idea of bringing the Rodeo to Mint Hill and what needed to get accomplished to make it come to fruition.

Ladies at Queens Grant High School Booth. Left is Christine Amaral, Sheri Braswell, Vikki Earnhardt.

Since the SCHSRA does have an annual travel schedule, what open dates would be available to make this happen.  The result was April 21-22 were available and the rest is history.  When pulling into the parking lot, Lori Peyton was pleasantly surprised and enthusiastic about the turnout.

The Rodeo event was booked and Friday night the very first Rodeo in Mint Hill was performed under a packed crowd in a carnival atmosphere under the lights. On Saturday there was a Junior Rodeo at 11:00 am for younger participants.

Two cool looking bulls.

Saturday night the Rodeo began at 8:00 pm sharp to a standing room only crowd larger than Friday night.  Some of the events included Bare back Bronc Riding, Calf Roping, Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding and other great events.  The speed, strength and skill of the contestants along with the animals involved was amazing and thrilling to watch.  It was good family fun for all who had the opportunity to enjoy along with some old fashion patriotism.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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