Professional rodeo event in Poplar Bluff this weekend

Friday, March 18, 2011

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Cowboys from across the world will gather at the Black River Coliseum Friday and Saturday to compete in the Larry Hillis Dodge PBR Pro Touring Division rodeo. Events kick off at 7:30 nightly.

In recent years the Poplar Bluff event has featured fierce competition as it has become one of the more popular stops on the circuit. According to Sonny Smith, promoter with S&G Bucking Productions, only 40 bull riders can compete per night, but 180 "called in," interested in the competition.

"This has become an event that a lot of cowboys really want to come to," Smith said.

Nationally recognized rodeo cowboys like Matt Bohon of Cole Camp, Mo., who has earned more than $500,000 in his career on the circuit, will be competing Friday and Saturday nights. Reese Cates, 2008 PBR Rookie of the Year; Ross Coleman, who earned one of the greatest payouts for a single ride in PBR history in 2001; and Rocky McDonald, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, will also be competing.

"This thing is pretty international," said Smith. "We have a lot of Brazilians in, lot of guys out of Mexico."

Smith said bull riders from Australia and Canada will also be competing.

The bulls the cowboys will ride are also coming from all across the country.

"We've got bulls coming from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas, some of the top bulls in the mid-states," Smith said.

Both nights will feature a "long-go round," according to Smith, in which each bull rider will take to the arena. A rider must stay on the bull at least eight seconds to score at all.

A "short-go" or championship round will then be held each night, with the top 10 bull riders of the night competing for the win. Different bull riders will be featured each night.

Money won by the bull riders will count toward totals for the PBR finals in Las Vegas in October, according to Smith.

Rodeo clown and "PBR funny man" Dusty Jenkins from the Branson, Mo., area will provide entertainment as well, according to Smith.

In the rodeo's fifth year, ticket sales continue to be strong.

"We've had very good attendance," Smith said.

"It's going to be a great show," he added. "We're looking for a great turnout and a lot of fun."

Coliseum marketing and box office manager Subrina Berger is expecting lots of fans.

"Every year we have increased the turnout," she said. "We've sold out quite a bit of the lower level tickets."

Family four packs are still available, which include four tickets, four slices of pizza and four drinks for $50. A $10 discount is available for military personnel. Both deals are available through 5:30 p.m. today.

"We have plenty of really good seats," Berger said. "They can still get near the chutes and where all the action is."

Bull riders, cowboys and Jenkins will be at Larry Hillis Dodge for a free meet and greet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

To order rodeo tickets or for more information, call the Black River Coliseum box office at 573-686-8001 or visit

Pertinent address:

Black River Coliseum, Poplar Bluff, MO

3211 N. Westwood Blvd., Poplar Bluff, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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