Gitty Up's Best Posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011



ATLANTIC CITY -- Boardwalk Hall is getting 1,200 tons of dirt trucked in ahead of this weekend's big Boardwalk Rodeo.

Crews began work Wednesday, covering the arena floor with over half a foot in some areas. While organizers say over 10,000 people are expected to attend, they're promising an exciting weekend that rodeo fans of all ages are sure to remember.

"I think it's going to be great family fun. We've gone out of our way to make sure that the tickets are priced so that everybody can bring their families, and we just hope that everyone comes out because I know it's going to be great," says Janet Markowitz, one of the event's organizers.

Hundreds of steers, horses, and other large animals are also being trucked in for the weekend. The Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo kicks off this Friday April 1st and runs through Sunday April 3rd.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rumored Tom Cruise Rodeo Flick Coming Up?

Rumored Tom Cruise Rodeo Flick Coming Up?

Alberta may have lost the Man of Steel to the Windy City, but local industry insiders says the province is still in the running for an all-star rodeo film, with Tom Cruise rumoured to be interested in playing the lead.
The sources confirmed to the Herald that scouts have been in Alberta looking at locations for the film, which has gone by the names Freebird, Final Go and Paper Wings. At one point, Cruise and Reese Witherspoon were attached.

Still, it remains in pre-production and is a long way from confirming locations.

"They liked everything they found in Alberta," says one insider. "It's a natural. We've got the bulls, we've got the contractors, we've got the riders. We can beat anybody else out in those aspects."

As early as a year ago, the L.A. Times reported that Cruise and Witherspoon were attached to the project, which was then called Paper Wings. Cruise would play a rodeo champ who falls in love with a country singer played by Witherspoon. Actor Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment was named as the film's producer. While still in the early stages, the possibility of Cruise in a rodeo picture had already raised the ire of American animal-rights organizations. Cruise has reportedly been spotted behind the chutes at various rodeos in California. The sources told the Herald that, if Alberta is chosen as a location, filming could start later in the year.

When asked about the possibility of a Cruise production heading here, culture minister Lindsay Blackett said he had "no comment."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beer and Horses

Beer and Horses

Although our winter weather is hanging on, I intend to celebrate spring’s arrival at two events this weekend: the sixth annual Atlantic City Beer Festival and the first Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo.

The two-day beer fest kicks off on Friday at the 75,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center. More than 75 brewers from around the world will be on hand for this celebration of suds.

I’ve attended several beer festivals over the years, but this one stands out as among the best. You’ll meet some local brew legends (including the folks from Cherry Hill’s Flying Fish and Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head), and get a chance to step outside the Bud-Miller-Coors universe into a world of beer diversity.

Some of this year’s highlights will include Brooklyn Brewery, Great Lakes, Troegs, Boulder, Stone, Left Hand and Magic Hat. The event will feature food, live entertainment and guest speakers. Tickets are $50 at the door, and
 $45 per session in advance online through Ticket Master. For more information visit the festival’s website.

Moving from beer to broncos, Friday is also the start of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo, a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association-sanctioned event. The rodeo will feature three days of classic competition, including bareback riding, saddle bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, team roping and women’s barrel racing. The prize purse will be $56,000, with about 10 contestants in each event.

This may seem a bit kitschy, but make no mistake, these guys and gals are quite serious about their rodeos—as anyone who has attended Cowtown Rodeo in Salem County can attest. So, in between brews, take a stroll down to Boardwalk Hall for the East Coast’s largest rodeo of the year. Tickets are $16, $31, $51 and $102. Family four packs are sold out, so get on this before you get bucked from the fun. Tickets can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office or online from Ticketmaster.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Western Art Week supporter Ginger Renner dies

C.M. Russell expert, Western Art Week supporter Ginger Renner dies

Ginger Renner, an art collector and gallery owner who became one of the nation's top experts on the late "Cowboy Artist" Charlie Russell, died early Sunday at a local hospital near her home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., after a fall. She was 89.
"It's just a tremendous loss to the (C.M. Russell) Museum and the art world," said Darrell Beauchamp, executive director of the C.M. Russell Museum. "As a resource, Ginger was invaluable. We used her every chance we got."
Beauchamp said Renner was not able to attend last week's Russell Museum events because of failing health.
"She wanted to be there more than anything," said her daughter, Amanda Stine. "It was hugely important to her."
In the last few years of her life, she talked with the Tribune about her interest in and contributions to western art events.
One of the editors of "Charles M. Russell, A Catalogue Raisonné," the definitive listing of Russell's work, Renner had been a backer of the Russell Art Auction since its beginning in 1969 and authenticated much of Russell's artwork.
That became a problem in 2005 when she spotted a fake Russell in the auction. To make matters worse, it was valued at between $90,000 and $110,000 and owned by an old friend, Kalispell art collector Paul Masa.
Renner publicly announced that the painting was a forgery, then privately persuaded Masa to pull the painting from the auction. "Paul and I burned it in Van Kirke Nelson's fireplace," she said.
But she also wrote Masa a check to cover his loss, she later admitted.
Born May 21, 1921, in Fullerton, La., Renner spent about 18 months as society editor of the Silver City (N.M.) Enterprise, a weekly newspaper back in 1939-40.
But she'd always had an eye for art, and in 1963 she got a chance to run the Desert Southwest Art Gallery in Palm Desert, Calif. It was there she met Masa.
"He tried to sell me some of this bad art he was carrying around in his truck," Renner said. "I told him his art was pretty cruddy, but if he wanted to hang around until things slowed down in the afternoon, I'd show him some good art."
In 1965, she bought an art gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyo. "So I was able to have a summer operation in Jackson Hole and a winter operation in Palm Desert," she said.
In 1973, she met and married Fred Renner, then the nation's leading expert on Russell.
"I was his third wife, and he was my third husband," she said. "We always said the third time's the charm — and it was true. We never got tired of each other."
Ginger said she was determined not to intrude on her husband's area of expertise, but she borrowed a book of personal reminisces about Russell to read one day while her husband watched a football game on television.
"It was a big book — it must have weighed 20 pounds — but I read it cover to cover," she said. "When I was done, I started over and read it all over again. When I was finished for the second time, I was absolutely hooked on Charlie."
Over the next 15 years, she learned a lot about Russell, living with a bunch of his art. For nearly a year, the Renners lived with a major bronze by Russell entitled "Meat for Wild Men."
When her husband died in March 1987, Renner was ready to take on his duties.
Two days after his death, Ginger Renner got a call from Charlie Russell's son Jack, who wanted to know where Fred would be buried.
When she said she didn't know, Jack Russell said he had a plot right across the stone from his father that he would be happy to donate because he had lived for so long in southern California that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scatted in the Pacific Ocean.
"It was the most wonderful, generous, compassionate gift I ever received because it would have meant so much to Fred," she said. "I broke into tears, and then I wrote him a heartfelt letter of thanks for such an incredible gift."
She continued holding court at the Russell Art Auction through the 2009 bidding, which she stood up and interrupted to tell the buyers of a Russell watercolor — they'd just won it on a $100,000 bid — that it was a very rare piece and a great bargain.
Two of her children survive her: Dan Neveau, a business analyst and developer in Encinitas, Calif., and Amanda Stine, a chef in Sedona, Ariz.
She is also survived by five grandchildren.
Beauchamp said the Russell Museum is planning some sort of memorial or tribute for Renner, a long-time board member, but is waiting to talk to her family.
"We will do everything we can to honor her," Beauchamp said.
— Eric Newhouse, retired projects editor for the Great Falls Tribune, interviewed Ginger Renner in 2009.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sparks fly at 2nd Annual Welding Rodeo

Sparks fly at FDTC’s 2nd annual welding rodeo

Florence, SC -
By Alisha Laventure
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Pee Dee welders put their skills to the test at a Florence technical college to pay tribute to our county and its heroes.
More than four dozen students and professional welders from the Pee Dee area competed in Florence Darlington Technical College's 2nd Annual Welding Rodeo. The welders set up shop at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SIMT) where they used pieces of scrap metal to make art.
"This is great recruiting for us because all these kids out here, they're just having such a good time and they get a chance to weld and enjoy it," FDTC Welding Program Director Ross Gandy said. He and the competitions organizers decided on "patriotism" for this year's theme.
"I love the theme," Student Bobby McKenzie said. "It's our homeland, you know? It's where we live so why not show it off?" McKenzie will graduate from FDTC's welding program this year
The competition is broken down into student and professional divisions. Each team of four has eight hours to construct a sculpture from pieces of scrap metal.
Students from two vocational schools and three technical schools in the county comprised the student division.
"It's not as simple as it looks, but once you learn it, it's just like writing your name," explained Bobby McKenzie. The competition is designed to make students to apply skills leaned in the classroom to real-life applications.
"They need more people to work in nuclear power, and so we're addressing that in our pipe welding academy," Media-Relations Director Clay Williams said. He explained the nuclear energy industry is rapidly growing and calls for the specialized skills of pipe welders.
"There's going to be more nuclear power plants in South Carolina, and so we need to have folks who are trained to work in that type of environment." Williams said this kind of welding will play a vital role in the rebuilding of the areas of Japan damaged by the March 11 earthquake disaster, including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
Central Carolina Technical College's welding team is the reigning champions, winning the competition for the second consecutive year. Their sculpture featured the twin towers of the World Trade Center and military personnel raising a flag at its base.  They won $10,000 worth welding equipment, which will be donated to the college. 
Dillon High School's Vocational School took home second place and Florence-Darlington Technical College's welding team finished third.
NUCOR of Darlington County won the competitions professional division. They also won last year's inaugural rodeo.  Their welders crafted the famous Liberty Bell and took home the $1,600 grand prize.  GE of Florence finished second and wins $1,200. Honda of South Carolina rounded out the professional division with third place and an $800 prize. 
NUCOR's sculpture sold for $2,500. Central Carolina's piece fetched a bid of $500. The money raised at the auction will fund scholarships offered through the Tech Foundation.
they dive in that scrap and they get pieces of metal and they cut it out and weld it together and they make a sculpture. And they do really beautiful work."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who Will Be The Rodeo Queen?

Who Will Be The Rodeo Queen?

Three judges, a host of rodeo organizers and crowd of about 70 well-wishers gathered in the horse arena of the Bannock County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon to watch nine young ladies compete in the horsemanship phase of rodeo queen competition for the Wrangler Frontier Rodeo to be held in Pocatello in April.
The contestants, three in each of three age categories, led their horses through various required movements to exhibit their horsemanship skills and their poise while performing in front of a crowd. One girl in each category will be named senior queen, teen queen, and princess.     
“It’s all about the girls,” says Carma Madsen, royalty director for the Pocatello Frontier Rodeo Association, who has been organizing the queen competitions for 25 years. “I do it because I feel it gives the girls a good basis for life. They learn about public speaking, they gain self-confidence and they learn how to interact with people.”
Miss Rodeo Idaho, native Pocatellan Tricia Crump, agrees with that assessment of the value of rodeo queen competitions, or “queening,” as the initiated tend to call it.
“The experience I’ve had is something I could never learn from books,” she said. “So far her year as Miss Rodeo Idaho, has “blown my expectations away.”             Crump, who started her rodeo career by winning a mutton busting competition at 4 years of age, graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in agricultural economics. She is presently concentrating on her duties of representing all Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rodeos in Idaho as an ambassador of the sport, while paying the bills by working at Red Lobster restaurant.
“Always keep a smile on your face,” is her advice to aspiring rodeo queens.
The horsemanship phase of the rodeo queen competition calls for the young ladies to perform a freestyle reining pattern that includes a number of required elements, such as lead changes, sliding stops, spins and backing up. The two older age groups also perform a predetermined pattern of particular moves, while riding on a horse that she has not previously trained on. At one point during their patterns, the competitors ride around the arena carrying the U.S. flag, while the spectators in the bleachers stand as the colors pass by.
Three judges experienced in horsemanship and queening score the performers for the skill and style. But they are also looking for the intangible qualities needed to be an effective representative of rodeo.   
Judge Courtney Crowe explained what makes a good rodeo queen.
“The girl’s personality has to come through as she rides. We look at how the crowd responds to her, and if she is ‘people-friendly.’ You want your rodeo queen to shine.” 
One of the girls competing in the princess category, 10-year-old Bailie Bramwell, of Rigby, competed on a horse named Squirrel. Bramwell also studies martial arts, and was the Pioneer Days princess in St. Anthony.
“It doesn’t matter if I win or lose,” she said. “I’m going to be back next year.”
Pocatello’s Wrangler Frontier Rodeo Queen competitors are:
Princess category (ages 8 – 13)
Shelbey Jo Kari Aldous, Pocatello
Bailie Bramwell, Rigby
Bailee Sage Noble, Wellsville, Utah
Teen Queen category (ages 16-14)
Taylor Ann Anderson, Paradise, Utah
Marcie Dena Bullock, Pocatello
Shaylee Jo England, Pocatello
Senior Queen (ages 17-23)
Dianna LaVern Drollette, Benson, Utah
Tiffany A. Gepford, Blackfoot
Cathy Joanna Ruby, Meridian

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gunslinging competition kicks off Palm Springs

Gunslinging competition kicks off Palm Springs West Fest & Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo
Under the guise of covering a sporting event I managed to get roped into a gunslinging competition at the Palm Springs Convention Center this week.

The event was held to kick off the Palm Springs West Fest & Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo, and raise money for the United Way. Thursday’s event was a “celebrity” showcase to get people really, really excited about it.
The celeb shoot-off featured such local dignitaries as Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, Palm Springs Fire Chief Scott Ventura, Palm Springs interim Police Chief Al Franz, KMIR weatherman Patrick Evans, and some classic, western, character actors.
But what bigger celebrities are there than Desert Sun reporters? And Palm Springs reporter Maricar Mendoza and yours truly had those bases covered.
So after a quick lesson, it turns out the trick is to pull out a — believe it or not — real six-shooter out of your holster, while simultaneously pulling back the hammer, when a light goes off on a target about as big as a trash can lid.
Then pull the trigger and shoot the trash-can-lid-sized target. The first one to hit it wins, best of five shots.
Needless to say, the police chief was the first person eliminated from the tournament. He said he didn’t want to ruin his shot with a semi-automatic gun by fooling around with a revolver. Technically, both he and the mayor were eliminated simultaneously, but close enough.
Pougnet, despite a self-proclaimed acumen at hunting deer, had difficulty with the hammer mechanism on the revolver and managed to get almost three of his allotted five shots off. I don’t think any found their way to the target though.
Fire Chief Ventura, on the other hand, missed his calling as an Old West duel re-enactor (or maybe a police chief), dominating his heat and making it into the round of finalists with ease.
Desert Sun reporter Mariecar Mendoza made it to a shoot-off in her heat, just missing the cut into the finals.
After getting a few tips on the finer points of the quick draw from Ventura, my heat came down to its own one-shot shoot-off between myself and 2011 Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo Queen Jessica Reeske.
Showing appropriate manners, I crushed the teen queen with my fastest draw of the day and counted myself among the four finalists.
The final round was another story, and even my fire chief instructor couldn’t keep up with the lightning-fast reflexes of Jason Dibler, general manager of The Ace Hotel and Swim Club, who won the tournament.
To ease the disappointment felt by the rest of the finalists, we were all given huge western belt buckles to add to our western wardrobes.
The Palm Springs West Fest & Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo runs Friday through Sunday at Caballeros Field, adjacent to the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Saddle up for Cowboy Classic

Saddle up for Cowboy Classic

The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds will be filled with cowboys and bull riding as the Cowboy Classic Pro Rodeo happens this weekend. Want to go?

What: Cowboy Classic Pro Rodeo
When: 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 3001 N. Grant Ave.
Admission: $15 for reserved tickets, $12 for general admission, $6 for kids ages 10 and under. Tickets can be purchased at Price Cutter Stores and PFI Western. Get $2 off the ticket price at the door with canned goods to donate to Ozarks Food Harvest.

Rick Chaffin of L and R Productions said the rodeo provides not only good family entertainment but revenue for the community.
"It has a big economical impact when people come to spend money in Springfield," Chaffin said. "We'll draw audiences from about a 60-mile radius."
In addition to the cowboys participating in the events, there will be other entertainment, Chaffin said.
"We will also have entertainer Dusty Myers," he said. "He has been rodeo clown of the year for the past two years."
Chaffin said the rodeo, which has been in Springfield for the last 17 years, should be good entertainment for families.
There will also be incentives for kids who go to the rodeo, Chaffin said.
"There will be a kids' dash for cash," he said. "We put a bunch of nickels out in middle of the arena and the kids just go for it. Then, at the matinee we have free cowboy hats for kids, provided by Dr Pepper."
The rodeo will also benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. Audience members who bring canned goods will get $2 off their tickets.
"The rodeo spectators have always been very generous with benefiting the Ozarks Food Harvest," he said.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Man Dies After Fall from Rodeo Rollercoaster

Man Dies After Fall from Rodeo Rollercoaster

(Houston, TX) -- Authorities in Houston are investigating the death of a 47-year old man who fell from a rollercoaster at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this past Sunday night. Investigators say Brian Joseph Greenhouse fell about 30-feet from the Hi-Miler rollercoaster, landing on another man who suffered a broken ankle. Rodeo officials don't believe the ride malfunctioned because the safety belt and bar were still in place after the incident.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Snow Rodeo brings fun to Great Divide

Snow Rodeo brings fun to Great Divide

Our snow is quickly melting away, but that didn't stop area cowboys and cowgirls from taking advantage of some of the white stuff during the second-ever Montana Snow Rodeo held at Great Divide.
Some cowboys say they have no problem getting into an arena with a 2,000 pound bull, but they say they're a little nervous to put on some skies and plow down a mountain.
"I'd just like to get through it. I know what I'm going to expect there. This, I don't have no idea what's going to happen," retired steer wrestler Steve Blixt told us.
About 25 rodeo athletes navigate obstacles and rope fake cattle while heading downhill, with some saying they hadn't put on a pair of skis in over 10 years.
The youngest rodeo competitors participating are only five and six years old and event coordinators said that the competition is about having fun in a different type of competitive environment.
"We just try to tie the skiing and rodeo heritage together. I mean, it's a pretty deep heritage in Montana with those two," G.D. Marketing Coordinator David Whitmoyer explained.
Spectators watched from the deck where there is a barbecue and country music playing all day with one competitor telling us the event provided a nice break from the rodeo lifestyle..
"I'm never home during the winters, usually I'm down south rodeoing, and you miss out on a lot of stuff like these kind of things at home when you're rodeoing hard. So, it's kind of a neat treat to be able to come home and do some of this stuff sometimes," profession saddle bronc rider Shane Moran said.
Once the competition wrapped up, the skiers headed off the sloped and went inside where there was music and a dancing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Parade Combines Irish, Old West

Parade Combines Irish, Old West

Folks from across the local area ventured to downtown Fort Smith Saturday afternoon to enjoy the festivities of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
A procession that included young, traditional Irish dancers, bag pipers and an Old West gunfight between legendary law officers and bank robbers marched down Garrison Avenue during the St. Patrick's Day Parade to the delight of scores of families in attendance.
"The crowd was one of the best crowds we've ever had for the St. Patrick's Day Parade," said Jayne Hughes, downtown development coordinator for the city of Fort Smith. "A lot of people showed up."
Hughes did not yet have specific figures on the number of those in attendance at the parade or how many groups performed or participated, but said that the turnout far exceeded that of previous St. Patrick's Day parades.
The procession started off with a bang when a group of Old West bandits emerged from Arvest Bank. The four bandits were met by seven legendary officers of the law, including Wild Bill Hickok, played by Michael Griffith, and F.M. Miller, the first female deputy U.S. Marshal of Indian Territory, played by Karen Ridgway. Spurs jangled and gunshots fired from prop guns as the lawmen shot down the armed robbers.
"I'm one of the lawmen trying to stop these robbers from coming out of the bank," Griffith said. "I've been doing this for two to three years now."
The performers who participated in the gunfight are members of Lawbreakers and Peacemakers, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the spirit of the Old West through re-enactments.
In attendance at the parade was the Ahlert family, Greg, Tracy and children Rin and Lillie. The Ahlerts have been attending the parade for several years, and Rin was a part of the parade four years ago when he was a baby being pushed down Garrison Avenue in a stroller.
The Ahlerts said Rin and Lillie enjoy all the parades held on Garrison Avenue and particularly enjoy the candy and other goodies that performers and parade participants toss their way.
Also performing in the parade were the McCafferty Irish Dancers and the Ozark Highlanders, a Fayetteville-based bagpipe and drums group.
Making their debut performance at the parade were the Fort Smith Firefighters Pipe and Drum Corps, members of which had been learning to play the bagpipes and drums from members of the Ozark Highlanders.
"Pipers are synonymous with fire departments, so we decided to form a pipe band," Capt. Tery Graves of the Fort Smith Fire Department said.
Graves said he and fellow members of the Pipe and Drum Corps were nervous at the start of the performance.
"We were shaky at the beginning, but halfway through, we found our stride," he said.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Upcoming rodeo will bring "culture shock" to Atlantic City

Upcoming rodeo will bring "culture shock" to Atlantic City

Bo Casper sat on a bench in the back of the arena at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, stretching, then carefully wrapping his arms with tape.
The 29-year-old from Oakland, Ark., had driven nearly 700 miles to Georgia to ride a horse bareback for 8 seconds. His expression was serious as he went about his preparations.
Casper then went out and got flung about like a ragdoll by an enormous bucking horse as the crowd of nearly 5,000 roared in approval. After the ride, the slender Casper jumped off the horse and jokingly struck a bodybuilder pose, drawing more cheers. He headed back to the changing area, hoping his score of 80 out of 100 would hold up over the next three nights to earn him some prize money.
"We're here to make a livin' and to feed our families, but we're also here for the crowd and spectators," Casper said. "You never know what little kid's watching you. Tonight, I rode that horse that jumped around, and it wasn't 90 (points), but that kid's not going to remember the guy that was 80 (points). He's going to remember that little guy that was out there flexing his muscles. It's a show."
That show will come to Boardwalk Hall April 1 to 3 with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo.
The fairgrounds, with farmers displaying their prized pigs and vendors selling corndogs, will be replaced by the bright lights of the casinos. The inside of Boardwalk Hall will be converted into a place where real cowboys feel at home, and the smell of manure is omnipresent but somewhat charming.
Culture shock
"You city folks have to watch your step," John Barnes, who runs Barnes PRCA Rodeo, said as he walked onto the dirt surface on the arena floor a few hours before the rodeo in Perry.
With about 100 horses, bulls, steers and calves on the premises, manure is just a part of the business that Barnes' family has been in since 1950, holding events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Of the 176 events scheduled on the PRCA's website as of March 1, Atlantic City's was one of only three in the northeastern United States. The others were Glen Falls, N.Y., and Marshfield, Mass. Most rodeos are outdoors, or at least in more rural areas.
"It's going to be a culture shock for Atlantic City. ... There's going to be (cowboy) hats worn in casinos, and there are going to be hats on the streets," Barnes said.
Barnes, 48, is one of a number of stock contractors who run PRCA-sanctioned rodeos. He has been to the region before - including the Beach Rodeo in Wildwood in 2001 - but never to Atlantic City. The resort hosted the Professional Bull Riders tour in 2003, but bull riding is just one of seven events in a full rodeo.
The Boardwalk Rodeo will feature bull riding and two other roughstock events with horses: bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. There are also four timed events: Steer wrestling, women's barrel racing (on horseback), tie-down roping (calves) and team roping (steers).
The main attractions, of course, are the roughstock events. Even successful rides, such as Casper's, appear painful as the cowboys lean almost all the way back and hold on with one hand as the animal attempts to buck them off.
Then there are the rides such as the one Bobby Griswold had, when he was thrown several feet in the air by a bucking horse and landed hard in the dirt.
"It's an aggressive sport, and yeah, we do get the bumps and bruises," said Griswold, a 43-year-old saddle bronc rider from Geary, Okla.
Interestingly, Griswold's fall drew just as many cheers as Casper's solid ride.
"People want to see the action," Georgia National Fairgrounds official Michelle Treptow said. "I guess it's kind of like car racing. You know, you want to see the action and the accidents. You don't want anyone hurt, but you want to see something like that."
The paramedics on hand at the Georgia National Fairgrounds only had to deal with a few minor cuts and scrapes over the course of the three-day rodeo. But bad injuries do occur.
Casper said one time he got off a horse cleanly but then the animal kicked him in the leg so hard that he broke multiple bones. Last summer, an 18-year-old cowboy in Canada was killed after being bucked and trampled by a bull at a rodeo.
Most of the time, though, the injuries are minor. The cowboys usually don't even feel their bumps and bruises until well after the adrenaline rush subsides from their 8-second ride in the noisy arena.
"They usually don't hit you until the next day," said Wade Phelps, 22, a bull rider from Roanoke, Ill. "Not to say it don't hurt then, but you're usually all right until you wake up the next day and you're like, ‘Oh, man, I can't move.' "
‘America's original No. 1 sport.'
In addition to the action, fans come for the atmosphere.
Women in red, white and blue sequined outfits opened the Georgia event by riding into the arena on horseback with American flags while Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" blared from the speakers.
Announcer Kelly Kenney then asked in his deep baritone, with a thick drawl, "Are there any rednecks in the crowd tonight?" He noted that they were about to see "America's original No. 1 sport."
A prayer preceded the national anthem, as the spectators bowed their heads.
Shortly after the event started, rodeo clown Robbie Hodges - basically a poor man's Larry the Cable Guy - told fans he loved performing in Georgia because there were no Yankees.
During the down time between competitors - there was a lot during the roping and steer wrestling events, in particular - Hodges told jokes and interacted with the crowd.
The announcer and clown will be different in Atlantic City, but other than the Yankee joke, don't expect much to change up north.
"We try to make it our home wherever we go," veteran Barnes employee Ronn Taylor said.
The fun factor
As much as they try to make it like home, it's anything but that for the cowboys.
After his ride in Georgia, Casper unwrapped the tape from his arms, changed into street clothes - still with a cowboy hat - and got back on the road, heading 345 miles down Interstate 75 to another rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla.
He wasn't even in Georgia two nights later when it was announced that his 80-point ride was good enough for a third-place tie and $520. And most of the spectators on that third night hadn't even seen his ride.
While there are some fans who actually follow the cowboys, and the announcer notes when some of the more accomplished competitors are up, most of the crowd is just there for the action. And that goes both ways.
"It's a lot of fun. I enjoy the fans. The more we can get, the more fun it is for us," said Phelps, the bull rider. "We don't have as much fun if we're out there and don't have a good audience. Having a good audience really makes us want to go out there and make a good show for them."