Looking for something that’s fun for the whole family to do this weekend? Check out the seventh annual Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo on Friday, Aug. 24, and Saturday, Aug. 25, at Lazy J Arena, just 10 miles west of Edgefield on S.C. Highway 23.
Riders will compete in divisions including bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, team roping, calf roping, barrel racing and break-away roping.
In addition to traditional rodeo events, there will also be a performance by trick-rider Jessica Blair. Before starting her own trick-riding career, Blair performed in front of millions a year at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The act consists of Blair Roman-riding on a pair of gray horses named Moose and Goose while they gallop side-by-side weaving and splitting fire torches. Blair performed at the International Professional Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma this year.
Also in attendance will be Wolverine, the 2011 and 2012 IPRA World Champion Bucking Bull.
This year’s rodeo was moved up two months from October to August.
“It rained five out of six rodeos,” said Sandy Quarles, co-owner of Sandy Oaks. “The committee got together and decided on the fourth weekend in August. It will be hot, but it gives the sponsors time to settle down between rodeos. We’re also trying to get away from some of the rain, football and festivals.”
Quarles and her husband Wesley, who both have rodeo experience, started the rodeo after she had surgery in 2006.
“I couldn’t lift over five pounds and we had always wanted to do a rodeo,” she said. “So I figured I could carry a briefcase.”
Quarles said they’ve had a good response so far.
“We’re expecting a big crowd,” she said. “We had 5,000 people the fourth year.”
Quarles said people with reserved tickets have been checking in at the Edgefield Inn since the first of August. Gates open at 7 and performances begin at 8 both nights. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 at the gate; $5 for ages 6-11; $9 (in groups of 10 or more); and $9 for ages 60 and older.
Ticket outlets include Boots, Bridles and Britches (Aiken and Grovetown); Tractor Supply (Aiken, Augusta, Newberry, Lexington, Thomson); Maxwell & Halford Drugs (Johnston); SRP Federal Credit Union (Edgefield Branch); Country Boy Farm Supply (North Augusta); Carquest Auto Parts (McCormick); The Hardware Store (Saluda); Crouch Hardware (Edgefield); and Interstate Battery Systems (North Augusta).
For more information, call Wesley or Sandy Quarles at (803) 637-5369, (803) 480-1944 or (803) 480-0045; or visit www.sandyoaksprorodeo.org.