Photos: Davie holds on to its cowboy roots

Here's what it takes to put on a nationally-recognized rodeo event: 94 professional competitors from nine states, 60 bucking horses, 30 bulls, 30 steers, 18 calves and about 12,500 pounds of grain and 200 barrels of hay.

Add to that $250,000 in prize money to stoke the competitive juices.

 

This year's Southeastern Circuit Finals Rodeo competition will be held over three consecutive days beginning Nov. 10 at the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds. There are seven events, from bull riding to team roping, with top finishers advancing to the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee in April.

"This is one of the most important rodeos in the country," said Troy Weekley, president of Davie Pro Rodeo.

That's why eight years ago his group lured the event to Davie, based on the town's love of cowboy culture, large arena and willingness to commit long-term. And while the town hosts several rodeos throughout the year, none are as big as this.

"Obviously, because this is such a large event, planning is year-round," said Jeff Pohlman, the town's assistant director of parks and recreation.

The partnership is paying off — ticket sales and sponsorships are up, as are the cash awards for top finishers.

Last year, approximately 13,000 people attended the event over the three days, up from approximately 10,000 in the first year, Troy Weekley, president of Davie Pro rodeo said. "We want to improve every year, so we start our critique while the rodeo is ongoing, asking ourselves what we can do to make the next one better."

 

In the first year, the budget was approximately $175,000 and there was $80,000 offered in prize money. This year, the budget is $300,000 and there will be $250,000 in prize money.

source: The sun Sentinel