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Cowboys, girls compete in events at pro rodeo

By SHANNON MILLARD
July 28, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.

Madeline Jones, of Victoria, races around barrel two at the Lester Meier Open Pro Rodeo hosted by the Cuero Livestock Show Board. Her time was 18.11 seconds.

CUERO - Cowboys and girls saddled up on horses, bulls and sheep at the Lester Meier Open Pro Rodeo hosted by the Cuero Livestock Show Board, full of thrills and excitement.

It was Zachary Zarosky's first time back braving the shoulders of a bucking bull in seven months at the Cuero Rodeo Arena in the Cuero Municipal Park.

The 23-year-old from Victoria has been riding bulls since he was 16 but has recently taken a break after a shoulder injury.

"I got dared by my buddies. They told me I was going to chicken out, but I proved them wrong," said Zarosky about how he started in the bull-riding business.

He has continued to ride bulls for the adrenaline rush.

"Why do people go skiing down a hill at 60 miles per hour with trees?" he asked. "Why do people jump out of planes? We all have our way of getting that adrenaline rush. It's an escape from the real world."

The rodeo featured 11 events: saddle bronc riding, drill team, calf roping, mutton busting, ladies' breakaway roping, bareback bronc riding, team roping, clown act, calf scramble, ladies' barrel racing and bull riding.

The Lester Meier Rodeo Company is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the rodeo business.

Jayden Lopez, 6, of Cuero, was the kids' big winner at the rodeo. He outlasted the competition during the mutton busting event and walked away with a trophy.

"I want to ride horses one day and make them go fast," Lopez said.

Lane McGehee, 16, of Victoria, had his first local rodeo ride after competing in the National High School Rodeo Association Finals.

After having a favorable start, he was bucked to the side of the bareback bronco, where his hand became entangled. He was lucky to stay on his feet while the horse continued to charge around the arena as fellow cowboys jumped in to wrangle McGehee free from the horse. With assistance, McGehee walked out of the arena.

In his bright pink shirt, Clint Ohrt, 12, of Victoria, chased a calf around his horse before bringing it to the ground during calf roping.

"My run went good, but I had a hard time getting the calf on the ground," Ohrt said. "I need to learn how to run down the rope faster."

"My favorite part of the rodeo was the saddle bronco riding," said Courtney Clifton, 14, on top of her horse after the show.

"I had a good time, and it felt really good to be back out there; I really surprised myself," said Zarosky after his 6.5-second bull ride. "I think I am going to take another month off, though, and work out."

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