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Rodeo brings many professional riders to Coleman

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COLEMAN, Texas - Professional ropers made their way to Coleman Thursday for the city's 79 th annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo.

The livestock was brought to the rodeo arena earlier this week. The event is expected to be an economic boost for the city.

"You see the [horses and bulls] are laying back relaxing, but when they get into that [arena], it's game time for them," said Jody Barr, with the Coleman Rodeo Association.

T.C. Long is a professional rodeo announcer. He broadcasted Coleman's rodeo last year and was invited back again this year.

"I truly believe rodeo is America's sport," Long said. Long travels 48 weekends out of the year announcing rodeos across the United States.

What separates Coleman's rodeo from others held in Texas is the caliber of cowboys and cowgirls, according to Long. This rodeo has riders who are currently on the professional circuit.

"There's over 600 PRCA rodeos [in the United States]," Long said. "For this rodeo to be in the top five rodeos, top 10 rodeos each year, means the best of the best are going to be here."

The Coleman Rodeo Association expects 4,500 people to attend throughout the three days the rodeo will be held. For Thursday's 8 p.m. show, half of the proceeds from ticket sales went to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

For Jody Barr, growing up as a kid in Coleman, this event was something everyone looked forward to as school finished. He doesn't think the livestock gets the credit it deserves.

"Everybody's got this perception of bulls," Barr said. "These guys are trained … professional athletes. They learn their craft, they get good at it."

But the bucks don't stop at the arena.

Coleman Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Griffis said people venture into Coleman and inject much-needed money into the local economy.

"A lot of out-of-town people come for this," Mary Griffis said. "Our hotels, motels are pretty full, our restaurants also [with] people shopping downtown."

Tickets to attend Friday and Saturday's rodeo are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The event's parade takes place in Coleman's downtown area at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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