Rodeo rides into town Friday
From the moment that 7-year-old Brooke Odom first sat in a saddle, she knew she was going to be a professional cowgirl.
And for the last four years, Odom – a former W.S. Neal student, Jay (Fla.) graduate and now a senior pre-pharmacy major at Pensacola State College – has been living on her dream.
On Friday, one can see her in action at the Brewton Chamber of Commerce’s Professional Cowboy Association (PCA) rodeo, as well as others, at O’Bannon Park. Rides will also continue on Saturday.
“I love rodeoing,” Odom said. “There’s just something about the thrill of a ride. When I was seven, I got ‘Big Momma,’ and ever since then, I’ve been on a horse. You can’t get me off of ‘em.”
This is Odom’s fourth year competing in PCA, “and I’m hoping for score enough for a chance to get to the finals,” she said.
Professional cowboys and cowgirls compete in PCA-sanctioned rodeos throughout the year in the hopes of being one of the 15 contestants. Those lucky 15 from each rodeo are invited to participate in the PCA rodeo finals in January of each year. Since the rodeo season is winding down, Brewton is sure to be a big draw for those looking to make the cut.
“And that means top quality entertainment for rodeo spectators,” said Judy Crane, the chamber’s executive director. Crane said rodeo action begins on Friday with a grand entry of riders. There are eight different rodeo events throughout the evening, with bull riding as the finale. Food and vendors will also be on hand.
Some 2,000 people are expected to attend the event – including Odom’s family.
“And that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to be competing in Brewton,” she said. “My whole family is all about the rodeo, but my dad’s side of the family hasn’t been able to see me compete because there wasn’t one help close to here.”
Odom is the daughter of Tonya and Daniel Jandran of Jay, owners of DJ’s Paint and Body in East Brewton.
In fact, Odom’s love of rodeoing is so strong she took up a strange offer from her dad.
“He said he’d give me $500 if I didn’t go to my junior prom,” she said. “He was joking and didn’t think I’d take him up on it, but I did. I bought a blinged out tack set with the money. Because if it’s not about horses, it’s about the rodeo – every day of my life.”
Gates open at 7 p.m., and contests begin at 8 p.m. nightly.
Admission is $15 for adults; $10 for children 7-12 and free for those six or younger.