Tarnett Todd Morris is looking forward to coming from Birmingham this weekend for the second annual Meridian Open Black Rodeo.
“When you see other guys who love the sport and cowboying that you do, it’s thrilling,” said Morris, one of many cowboys who will be on hand for the event, which is set for Saturday, Feb.15 at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center.
The rodeo is presented by the Southeastern Rodeo Association, KiSS 104.1, and 95.1 The Beat.
Morris, the communications director for the Southeastern Rodeo Association, estimated that about 100 cowboys and cowgirls will perform during the rodeo.
He described the rodeo as family-friendly.
“We saw that there was a need for family entertainment,” he said. “It gave us an opportunity to partner with the people of Meridian.”
The rodeo will include back riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing, women’s breakaway and a fan-favorite, bull riding.
In addition to rodeo riders, there will be a musical performance from Southern Soul Blues artist Big Yayo.
Many of the cowboys and cowgirls will be from the local area, Morris said.
“For those that have not been to a rodeo, all I can tell you is buckle up,” he said. “There are no seat belts at Southeastern Rodeo.”
Morris said the rodeo aims to show the role black cowboys have played in American history.
“It’s a culture and a lifestyle,” he said. “Black cowboys lived this life every day.”
Jatara Smith, who works at 95.1 The Beat, said that last year, tickets almost sold out for the rodeo.
“We’re expecting a big turn out,” she said.