A photo of a rider on a broncing bull during a rodeo.

The bull is king at Shady Dale.

With the fast moving, constantly changing modern lifestyle, some wonderful things seem to be blown away with the dust. One special event, however, is growing stronger with every passing year. Now into its 40th season, the Shady Dale Rodeo, to be held this year on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8, brings excitement back to the countryside south of Covington, GA! It is held on Ga. Highway 83, just south of the red flashing light at the intersection with Ga. Highway 142 in downtown Shady Dale. This year’s event will feature the best cowboys and cowgirls from across North America competing for big prize money.

This event is presented by Masonic Lodges Walton #200 and Jasper #50 of Jasper County. The Shady Dale Rodeo is an IPRA sanctioned professional rodeo event produced by Southern Rodeo Company. It has been voted the number one outdoor rodeo in the Southeast many times. The Shady Dale Rodeo is put on by an all volunteer crew of local Masons, Shriners and other citizens of the surrounding area. In addition to the rodeo action you can enjoy a full line of concessions, including pit cooked barbecue and fresh baked goods. The proceeds go to various Masonic charities and scholarships.

A photo of a woman on horseback rounding a barrel in a barrel race.

Women’s barrel racing.

There is something for the whole family, including bare back and saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, world championship bull riding and a calf scramble for kids 6 to 12. Friday night is family night with all youngsters 10 and under admitted free. A variety of concessions will be available that features home cooked barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, boiled peanuts and the favorite, Farm Bureau ladies’ home made cakes, pies, cookies and other sweets. A specialty act will be Blake Goode performing the colorful and exciting “Liberty Stand” and other stunts on his Brahma Bull riding team culminating with a jump through a blazing ring of fire.

If you want to think what it is truly like to crawl on a 2,000-pound angry bull, here are a few words that I copied from a poem, written by a cowboy, who knows;

The truth is much more dangerous,

The truth is what I know,

The truth is underneath me,

The truth is set to go!

My boots are on the sideboards,

Beneath me is the bull,

A hurricane in waiting,

With his anger set on full!

But I know as I lower myself down,

It’s only eight terrifying seconds to the crown!

A cowboy standing on a bull, firing a gun with the crowd in the background.

A cowboy standing on a bull, firing a gun with the crowd in the background.

Admission: Adults $25, Children 6 and up $10 and Under 6 years old free.

For more info, check this web site: www.shadydalerodeo.com.

Photos: by Bill Vanderford