Large turnout for Union County Stampede

By Derik Vanderford dvanderford@civitasmedia.com

June 2, 2014

UNION — Spectators of all ages enjoyed a weekend of pro rodeo events over the weekend at Union County Fairgrounds.

The Union County Stampede — held Friday and Saturday at Union County Fairgrounds — was a pro rodeo sanctioned by the NCA. Competitions included bull and saddle bronc riding as well as barrel racing. Contestants came from North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The event was hosted by The Old Frontier, which is a youth camp in Thomson, Ga. Animals and equipment were provided by Ernie Treadway Rodeo Company and Theron McCall Bucking Bulls. A portion of the proceeds from the event were to benefit activities at The Old Frontier and a pilot program in middle schools and high schools for at-risk teens.

Organizer Chris Smith said he was pleased with the turnout for the rodeo. Smith said threats of rain may have kept some spectators at home on Friday, since the crowd was short of the packed stands on Saturday.

“We’ve had plenty of contestants and the shows have been great,” Smith said.

Smith said he thinks many who attended the rodeo were surprised to learn that it was a professional rodeo. He said he hopes to make it an annual event, and he believes those who attended will spread the word about the quality of the show. Smith said he looks forward to continued connections in the local community and more events in the future.