Hundreds show up to honor police at rodeo

A rodeo participant battles a bronco at the Police Lives Matter rodeo on Aug. 27. (Reporter photo/Keith McCoy)

A rodeo participant battles a bronco at the Police Lives Matter rodeo on Aug. 27. (Reporter photo/Keith McCoy)

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

WILSONVILLE – A full crowd of more than 400 people showed up for each night of the Police Lives Matter Rodeo, Aug. 26-27, at River Run Farms in Wilsonville.

The rodeo, which consisting of bull and bronco riding and barrel racing, was hosted by BR Ink in partnership with the Miniature Rodeo Association. The rodeo was a qualifying competition that will help decide which competitors will go to Oklahoma for the 2016 BBR World Finals.

Jimmy Boswell, event organizer and owner of rodeo company BR Ink, said Harpersville Police Department participated in a meet and greet Saturday at Big Man’s in Harpersville. Bulls and broncos were on display at the meet and greet.

Boswell said there were 62 rodeo participants for Friday night’s barrel races and 48 for Saturday’s bronco and bull riding. He said riders traveled from parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida to participate in the rodeo.

First responders, law enforcement and military attended the rodeo for free if they showed their badge at the entrance gate.

Patrons were asked to wear blue shirts to show their support for police officers.

Hapersville patrol officer James Wimmer said it was nice to be honored at the rodeo. Although he’s only been a part of the Harpersville Police Department for about a month, he said the community is supportive of its first responders.

Wimmer said said law enforcement officials from the Alabama State Troopers, Leeds and other agencies were present as well.

For the first time, Boswell said the rodeo featured a female announcer, Jenna Thomas, better known as Jammin’ Jenna.

“This was her debut as an announcer and as far as we know she’s the first,” Boswell said.

BR Ink will also host a Police Lives Matter Rodeo Sept. 16-17 in Prattville and Oct. 7-8 in Opp.