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TMCNet:  Cowboys ready to ride in Hebron at this weekend's Redneck Rodeo

[June 28, 2012]

Cowboys ready to ride in Hebron at this weekend's Redneck Rodeo

HEBRON, Jun 28, 2012 (Sun Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Rodeo cowboys have been streaming in all week to Hebron, where Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks has turned a gravel pit into a small amphitheater, with bleachers to hold 2,000 people and room for 2,000 more to set up lawn chairs.

And tickets are selling fast. Brooks said he's sold far more tickets than he did before the Redneck Olympics last year. "It's a full-fledged rodeo," Brooks said.

Michelle Morris of Litchfield, who is Miss Rodeo Maine 2012, said she was glad to have a rodeo she can drive to. "It's kind of a nice change," Morris said.

As a Rodeo Queen, she competes in 12 states, but never Maine. She said Rodeo Queens are mostly public relations for the rodeo, but she does compete in barrel racing events in a different rodeo league than the one sanctioning this weekend's rodeo.

Morris said she'd been riding since before she could walk. "I can probably ride better than I can walk." Professional riders from as far as Texas have come up and are staying in Hebron. Brooks rented out the Grange Hall and has provided meals for the cowboys, who travel from rodeo to rodeo and pay to enter each rodeo event.

Brooks says the best part of holding the rodeo is talking to the cowboys over dinner at the Grange Hall. They're appreciative of the warm welcome, and told him it's not common to see such hospitality.

Mike Morris, a saddle bronc rider from Crockett, Texas, said everyone in Maine has been hospitable. Morris, who isn't related to Michelle, said he'd never been to Maine before. "It's pretty country. Good food," he said. Morris is traveling with his wife Brittany, a schoolteacher, and their infant sons Elijah Jeralds and Jeremiah Woodrow.

He said they'd been on the road for three weeks. With 15 years of riding under his belt, Morris said he eventually wants to teach. He said his older son, 1-and-a-half year old Jeremiah, has already ridden a horse.

While he spends summers traveling from rodeo to rodeo, Morris said his winters are spent back in Texas, riding horses and building fences and barns. "Cowboy stuff," he said, smiling.

Tickets are available for the weekend's events at redneckmaine.com.

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___ (c)2012 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine) Visit the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine) at www.sunjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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