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Victoria Open Pro Rodeo spans July 26 and 27

By ALLISON MILES
July 16, 2013 at 2:16 a.m.

Participants gear up for competition at the 2012 Victoria Open Pro Rodeo, hosted by Mid-Coast Family Services and the Challenged Athletes Dream Complex. This year's rodeo takes place July 26 and 27 at the Victoria Horsemen's Club Arena.

If you go

• WHAT: Victoria Open Pro Rodeo

• WHERE: Horsemen's Club Arena inside Victoria's Riverside Park

• WHEN: 8 p.m. July 26 and 27

• COST: $10 at the door, but children 8 and under get in free.

• INFO: Call Mid-Coast Family Services at 361-575-7842 for more information on the pro rodeo

Area cowboys will soon have the chance to kick up some dirt, show off their skills and give back to the community.

The Victoria Open Pro Rodeo spans July 26 and 27 at Riverside Park's Horsemen's Club Arena, 404 Memorial Drive.

Proceeds from the rodeo, which is now in its third year, benefit Mid-Coast Family Services' Women's Crisis Center and Victoria's Challenged Athletes Dream Complex, said Ginny Stafford, Mid-Coast's CEO.

Mid-Coast's Women's Crisis Center assists men, women and children who are victims of family violence, according to an event flyer. It also helps homeless women and their children.

Meanwhile, the Challenged Athletes Dream Complex is a nonprofit group aimed at offering athletic opportunities to youth and adults with physical disabilities.

Stafford called the partnership between the two organizations a good one.

"Those athletes face some of the same challenges our women do. They haven't been given a fair shake in life," she explained. "This is a great way for us to partner and help them move forward."

Visitors to the all-pro rodeo event can expect to see strong athletes battling it out for prizes and titles, Stafford said. Although some team events join the mix, most - such as barrel racing and bull riding - are individual competitions.

Children's events, including mutton busting and calf scrambles, also join the mix. Preregistration is not required for youth, she noted, explaining children should simply alert organizers that they'd like to participate once they enter the gates.

Stafford said this year's rodeo offers something extra - performances by world-renowned rodeo clown Leon Coffee.

Coffee was named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's Clown of the Year in 1983, according to the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame website. Other honors include his place in the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and numerous wins at big-name rodeo competitions, according to the site.

"It will be worth it to come out and see him," Stafford said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. both nights, and events begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door, but children age 8 and under are free.

For more information, call Mid-Coast Family Services at 361-575-7842.

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