NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches Pro Rodeo and Steer Show that runs through Saturday is now underway.
There's still time to catch the action that begins in less than an hour.
A lot of hard work and preparation has been put into what promises to be exciting entertainment. East Texas News was at the rodeo grounds when the biggest rodeo stars pulled up.
The familiar phrase, "this ain't my first rodeo" is the frame of mind Pete Carr Pro Rodeo wants its stock to understand.
"We'll take them as their young horses and we'll start grooming them," said Casey Harp, the business' operations manager. "We'll work them through the chutes. Let 'em learn the procedure. It starts building their confidence. They get some wits about them. They know how the procedure works."
Harp said they bring the horses to the smaller rodeos to let them "get their feet wet." He said they figure things out, and the company then starts working them up to the larger rodeos."
This homegrown stock didn't travel far, but the cowboys come from miles around for the 8-second ride.
"Over 400 head of livestock make their home in Athens, Texas at the ranch," Harp said.
A luxury Dodge Ram truck is the ride for Mike Mathis. He's best associated with the Angelina County Benefit Rodeo, but represents the sport nationwide as a board member for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
"We talk about the fact that there are almost 600 rodeos and what supports the PRCA, and what supports the rodeo cowboy are indeed the smaller- and medium-sized rodeos," Mathis said.
Nacogdoches Rodeo fans can thank the Expo staff for their dedication. In the sponsor sky box handmade center pieces didn't happen overnight. One staffer may cuss Pinterest, but he designed this chandelier when he got the question preceded by, "Do you think you can...?" as well as a drink bar crafted from pallets and tomato stakes. High school students cut and welded the Coke barrel. And contestants boast about the "dirt man" for keeping the arena just right. Women rodeo athletes took notice.
The rodeo, located at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center, will begin each night with the Mutton Bustin' at 7 p.m. The pros kick things off at 7:45 p.m. Don't forget, tonight the rodeo is free with a $2 donation encouraged.