There will be a special focus on family when the Tops In Texas PRCA Rodeo opens its three-night run at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Rodeo Arena
This will mark the 52nd year for the rodeo to set up shop in Jacksonville and right out of the gate there are at least a couple of noteworthy changes.
For starters, this year's rodeo will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, beginning with the grand entries at 7 p.m. nightly.
Prior to this this year, the Jacksonville rodeo had been a four-day event.
One of the events' long-time head honchos, Charles Dickerson, said that it was time to do things a little bit different this year.
“By going from four to three nights, we will be more in line with what a lot of the other cities have been doing,” Dickerson said. “This (format) seems popular with the cowboys and should work in our favor in attracting top-notch cowboys and cowgirls.”
Dickerson said that this is not the first time that the Tops In Texas has been a three-night production.
“We've had it over three nights and spread out over four,” Dickerson explained. “I think the committee this year liked the idea of a three-night rodeo.”
Tops in Texas will still feature all of the competitions — bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and team roping — that fans have come to expect annually.
With PRCA rodeos also scheduled to take place in Vernon and in Carthage next weekend, Texas Circuit contestants will have a favorable string of rodeos that will be offering them plenty of chances to earn a pay check.
“I think everyone will be real happy with the quality of cowboys that we will have coming in this year,” Dickerson said.