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Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016

Thayer Rodeo growing in popularity

Friday, July 27, 2012

It may be hot and hotter outside, but the weather has not cooled the passion of rodeo fans for their sport. On July 22, the 3-D Rodeo Company attracted a record crowd of about 250 people to its monthly rodeo at the Saddle Club Arena in Thayer.

The 3-D Rodeo Company is run by Jamie and Amanda DeJournett of Maynard, Ark. Jamie said the shows in Thayer have grown ten-fold since the company started coming to Saddle Club Arena.

"It just keeps getting bigger, and we've had just the right number of contestants. We've got regulars that come everytime. When we first started coming here, the only people that showed up were people from back home. But more and more locals have started coming," Jamie said.

Saddle club president Melvin Snethern said the DeJournetts know how to attract participants and spectators.

"They do a good job putting on an affordable rodeo. I say affordable, because the entry fees aren't too high," Snethern said. "In circuits, they make the entry fee about $50 for circuit members, and $80 for non-members. That keeps the young locals out. [3-D] runs it so local riders can compete if they want. I like it that the kids have an opportunity to compete. You don't have that in the big ropings. The bulls are young, and the quality is better than last year. They're working hard to improve as a company,"

Snethern expects continued success in Thayer,
"I'm glad we were able to work something out, and get hooked up with this company. Here, two people can come out and for $20 get a burger and something to drink, and two and a half hours of entertainment."

The DeJournetts have played a part in rodeos for many years, including leasing their horses and cattle to professional and college rodeos, but a family crisis nearly drove the family away from the sport.

Jamie and Amanda's daughter, Alli, was born with a congenital heart defect, called "Transposition of the Great Vessels." According to web -- MD.com, the defect of incorrect artery connections causes blood from the left and right side of the heart to mix.

"She's been sick since the day she was born, and a few years back we were doing a rodeo at the Sharp County Fair, while my daughter was having surgery. I had to have people run the show for me, and that was our last big rodeo," Jamie said. "We spent the next two years in Little Rock getting her treatment. Those were the worst two years of my life, and not because of the city," he said with a small smile.

After her surgeries improved her health, Alli decided she wanted to get involved with rodeos.

"We got hooked up with the Ozark Teenage Rodeo Association. They were looking for someone to provide livestock for some events. And then they said, 'Well why don't you just run the whole show?' So, we got back in," Jamie said. "It's two years later, and the whole association has dissolved, but we're still doing rodeos."

Jamie said the company gives a belt buckle to every winner, and that they make sure that every kid who competes receives something, because it helps show the kids that, if they work hard, they will see the rewards.

The July 22 rodeo started off with bareback riding, which was won by Kody Ragsdell. The next winner of the evening was Kolby Morris in the sheep riding competition. Paige Mitchell won in goat undecorating.

The beginner and junior goat tying events were won by Savannah Garrison and Alli DeJournett, respectively. DeJournett also won in breakaway roping, and the junior barrels competition.

Darwin Orrick won the calf-riding event. Nick Edington and Maddie Adams won in beginner and senior barrels, respectively.

In the "main event" of the evening, Nathan Storms won the bull-riding event.

3-D Rodeo's next event is Aug. 4, in Pocahontas. And the company will be back at the Saddle Club Arena in Thayer on Aug. 11.

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