The Rusk County Rodeo Association is a nonprofit organization that pairs rodeo entertainment for the community with scholarship fund raising for Rusk County youth.
The RCRA, organized by a dozen local families in January 1981, produced several outdoor rodeos known as the Black Gold Stampede and then broke ground on what’s known today as the Phillip Davis Arena.
In October of 1994, the RCRA produced the first ever PRCA rodeo in Rusk County.
“Twenty six years later, the arena is still a beautiful facility, even boasting several big ol’ fans, which make it an all-weather facility and an additional covered space for an incredible and growing Fan Zone,” said Kristi Antonick, marketing coordinator for the Black Gold Stampede.
According to Antonick, during the 25th anniversary celebration a new logo and the original name, Black Gold Stampede, was rolled out to once again define this special event.
Improvements to the organization have been made throughout the years, including a partnership with the Henderson Lions Club that began in 2007, which made it possible to enhance fundraising and charitable giving.
Just last year, the Black Gold Stampede added a website with rodeo pictures and information, including vendor applications, trail ride information and discounted online ticket purchases.
Today, the Black Gold Stampede changes the lives of local youth through college scholarships, in-school vision testing, after school athletic programs and many other additional Lions Club charities.
“Thanks to incredible sponsors and hardworking volunteers the Rusk County PRCA Rodeo continues to be a community building event year after year,” Antonick said.
The 2019 rodeo weekend is Oct. 18-19.
The Fan Zone, with interactive activities for youth and adults including pony rides, a mechanical bull, petting zoo, boutique shopping as well as new food vendors, opens at 5:30 p.m. with rodeo performances following at 7:30 p.m. each night. Each night different cowboys and cowgirls will test their skills against fellow competitors.
Brand new this year, the Black Gold Stampede will boast an internationally renowned specialty act. Tomas Garcilazo, ‘Charro on the Road’ (trick rider and trick roper) and his horse will wow the crowd with spectacular performances.
Always a favorite, Rusk County PRCA rodeo invites little cowboys and cowgirls right into the arena to demonstrate their courage and abilities in the Mutton Bustin’, an event similar to bull riding in which children ride sheep.
For interested Mutton Busters, Boot Barn will be taking sign-ups on a first come basis for 15 entries for each performance.
Concessions open early and all proceeds will benefit local charities. Discount tickets can be purchased at Boot Barn or at BlackGoldStampede.com until Oct. 17 at 5 p.m.