Doko Rodeo brings bull-riding action to Blythewood
“It’s boots and chaps, it’s cowboy hats, it’s spurs and latigo. It’s the ropes and the reins and the joy and the pain and they call the thing rodeo.” This weekend, a standing room only crowd in Blythewood got a firsthand look at what country music legend Garth Brooks meant when he sang those words.
The town hosted its ninth annual Doko Rodeo, sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA). Some of the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls competed in eight events including bareback and saddled bronco riding, bull riding, bulldogging and barrel racing.
The two-night rodeo included lots of food and drinks and souvenirs, plus a chance to meet Miss Rodeo USA 2019 Heather Morrison as well as Blythewood’s own reigning pageant winners. With a kid-sized mechanical bull also available and a rodeo clown entertaining fans of all ages, there was something for everyone.
“We just love it,” said Janice Green, who attended Saturday with her daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. “It’s so nice to have it right out here in Blythewood too, such a big deal for our little town.”
The event is indeed a big deal, drawing thousands over the two nights of competition, and as a sanctioned contest, allowing the cowboys and cowgirls to earn not only money but also points in the IPRA standings. The top 15 over the season advance to the 49th International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City in January of next year.
The rodeo gives the community more than entertainment. Organizers have donated part of proceeds to good causes each year, with beneficiaries including local 4-H, cluns Future Farmers of America, South Carolina High School Rodeo competitors, The Big Red Barn, The Blythewood Chamber of Commerce, Miss Blythewood Pageant contestants, local scout troops and Plant it Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.
More information on the IPRA series is available at ipra-rodeo.com.