Blazing Saddles

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

The cage rattled, the animal inside snorted and stomped. 2000 pounds of angry bovine awaited an eager challenger. The bull named Soggybottom, 2003’s Bull of the Year, had been to the National Finals and had been ridden by the best, but not conquered. Drew Walters and Soggybottom are no strangers.

Walters had a year to get ready for the rematch, riding as a member of the University of West Alabama’s rodeo team.

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Friday night in Marion, the rubber match between Soggybottom and Walters went to Walters.

Soggybottom exploded out of the chute with the cowboy attached to him, and began bucking, turning, kicking and snorting, but Walters hung on for the full eight seconds and took home a top-score of 81.

While the bullriders get most of the glory at rodeos, there are other people involved behind the scene’s that just as important. Probably most visible being the rodeo clown.

This weekend’s rodeo featured events such as bareback riding, saddle bronc-riding, calf roping, team roping and of course bull riding.

But, the event wasn’t just for the cowboys. Cowgirls were able to get into the action as well with the Barrel Racing and Break-away-calf roping.

Children were also able to get in on the rodeo action by competing in the "Mutton Bustin,&uot; and the Gold Rush.

Probably one of the most solemn moments of Friday’s rodeo came when Linda and Dale Ray were presented with a set of shiny belt buckles in honor of Gene Ray, the man who was responsible for helping start the rodeo. The Marion Rodeo was put into place by a committee made up of local people from the community of Marion.