Rodeo closes Saturday with final performance

May 13—The final performance of the Tops in Texas Rodeo is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13.

Breakaway roping is a new feature this year of the Tops in Texas Rodeo. Saturday will be the last chance to see the event in Jacksonville, until next year's rodeo.

"The WPRA started doing breakaway roping a few years ago and started having the finals in Vegas, so we thought it would be a good chance for us to have the event," Byron Underwood said in a press release. Underwood is chairman of the volunteer group that organizes the local rodeo.

Breakaway roping has been around for decades and served as a means for young ropers to learn the craft while opening the door for ladies to compete without having to tie down calves. Times are fast, with winners being crowned after runs of about 2 seconds.

"It's fast-paced and exciting, which I believe will blend well with our rodeo," Underwood said. "It's an event that's been growing in popularity, and I think it's going to be something our crowd is going to love."

While mutton busting isn't new, Underwood and the other volunteers opted to increase the number of mutton busters who are allowed to compete.

"We just added a few more, so we'll be taking 20 kids per night," he said. "It gives us a chance to let more kids ride, and that's important for the moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas. Everyone wants to see the little ones ride, and it's always been a crowd-pleaser for us."

The Tops in Texas Rodeo is produced by the Jacksonville Rodeo Association, the Lions Club and the Rider's club.

For ticket information, visit topsintexasrodeo.com.