Keith Brogden has competed in rodeos all across the United States. From Davie, Florida, Reno, Nevada, Greeley, Colorado to Asheville, North Carolina. But his favorite rodeo is what he is now proud to call his hometown rodeo; the Blountstown Rodeo.
When Keith was told a few years back that a rodeo would not be successful in this community, he banded together with a core group of Florida Panhandle Saddle Club members to prove the gentleman wrong. Together Keith, Cathy Davis, Sandy O’Bryan and Stephanie Brogden have worked tirelessly to provide the community with family entertainment that features local talent as well as cowboys and cowgirls known throughout the Southeast.
Staying community minded, the group has enlisted the help of local businesses like the Calhoun Liberty Employees Credit Union who have donated 2 bicycles each year to be given away to area children at the rodeo and the group has also given 2 free tickets to each of the Calhoun district schools to use as student rewards or incentives. Take Stock in Children Scholarship program has also benefited from the rodeo as it has helped raise both money and awareness for the scholarship foundation. This year, TSIC board member,
Danny Ryals, will make his debut as a “barrel racer” as he turns and burns to earn dollars for TSIC.
As much local talent as possible is used to promote the rodeo. Brad Purvis can be heard on 102.7 signing the rodeo ads and will be arena help and Lisa Adams Yon will sing the national anthem this year. Cowgirls Wendy Taylor, Sarah Hatcher, Bailey Johnson, Katelyn Bozeman, Bullrider Jay Shiver and Bull fighter Jamie Willis are just a few of the familiar faces you can watch this Saturday night. Local photographer Karen Joiner Moran “Smooch” will also be at the rodeo again to capture the action. Keith is also proud to say he has more family involved with the rodeo this year as nephew Barrett Purvis is competing in mutton busting and daughter Rendi Brogden is competing in barrels.
Certainly no newcomer to rodeo, but first time competing in the FPSC Rodeo, is team roper Trey Young. A native of Wakulla County, Trey now calls Calhoun County his home. Trey was featured on the cover of 850 magazine and travels the country demonstrating his horsemanship skills and colt breaking techniques at clinics. He is now training out of his Red Oak community facility with the assistance of a former Wakulla County resident, Timmy Sanders.
When the group first began the rodeo in 2009, there really was no local person who could act as the voice of the Florida Panhandle Saddle Club Rodeo. Keith knew he had to call on his longtime friend and a former roping partner, Cody Murphy (pictured), of Greenville, Alabama to be the announcer.
It seemed as though the odds were stacked against the rodeo committee the first two years. Cody’s sound equipment was destroyed by a tornado the week before the 2009 Rodeo and he suffered a broken jaw from a horse crash a few weeks before the 2010 Rodeo. But neither bad weather nor personal injury kept Cody away from performing for our folks. Local DJ Chris Strong was able to step up to the plate in year one and has kept the crowd pumped every since with a variety of country, rock and crowd moving music.
You could say Cody was born with a rope in his hand. In his early years, Cody competed in Junior Rodeos and the Alabama High School Rodeo Association. He won his first saddle at age 9 and his first diesel one ton truck at a Booger Barter Team Roping before he even had his restricted driver’s license. Keith jokes that Cody put 100 miles on the truck that weekend driving it back and forth from his house to the barn. Cody has also competed in the Professional Cowboy’s Association (PCA), the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA), United States Team Roping Association (USTRC), and the National Team Roping League (NTRL). He is a three time PCA finalists and was once 6th out of 400 teams at the USTRC finals.
Cody has also competed at the George Strait Team Roping in Texas and was once won 2nd place in one of the rounds. Cody is most proud of his recent title of Top Hand Award at the Pike County Cattleman’s Association Ranch Rodeo (which he has won three times). This Rodeo showcases what he does for a living; “Cowboying”. He makes his living breaking colts, riding horses, working cattle for himself and others, and being a ranch hand.
The Blountstown Rodeo is the only Rodeo that Cody announces at these days. He says he enjoys being the voice of the FPSC Rodeo because “you can tell the community totally supports and enjoys this rodeo. It is family friendly and community minded”. Cody will not only announce at the Rodeo Saturday night but will also compete as a heeler in the team roping event during ‘slack’ which is after the 7 pm performance comes to a close. Since only 10 contestants in each event are scheduled during the performance, those not drawing up performance compete for the same prize money during what is called slack. Currently, there were 93 total entries after call in Monday night.
Be sure to bring your family out to the 5th Annual Florida Panhandle Saddle Club Rodeo this Saturday night at the Skeet Davis Arena at Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, Florida for good food, music and entertainment. The FPSC would like to say a huge thank you to our community and sponsors for making this event so successful!