Phillips Rodeo celebrates 43 years

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Family fun, sweet tea are the hallmarks of Phillips Rodeo in its 43rd year

Phillips Rodeo returns to Gordon County for its 43rd year. Gates open at 6 on June 24 and 25 with action starting at 8.

As Garth Brookes sang, it’s the boots and mud, dust and blood. It’s the white in the knuckles and the gold in the buckle.

It’s the rodeo and it will bring more than eight seconds of fun at Phillips Arena in Resaca on June 24 and 25.

Phillips Rodeo tips its hat to Gene Autry and Roy Rogers

“It’s one of the first rodeos in Georgia,” said Bridgett Phillips, daughter-in-law to Larry Phillips, who first brought the rodeo to Northwest Georgia.

“He wanted to bring that atmosphere to Northwest Georgia,” she said. “No one in his family ever rodeoed.”

She added that Larry Phillips grew up watching Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and he wanted to preserve that area of entertainment.

Cowboys rode out the pandemic at small town rodeos

 She said because many Georgia rodeos closed or took time off from the circuit,

Phillips Rodeo is part of the PCA tour and features eight rodeo events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and calf roping.

she was certain that Phillips Rodeo is the oldest in the state. Even COVID didn’t stop the cowboys and cowgirls from coming to Phillips’ Arena.

“We had record attendance during COVID,” said Phillips. “The small town rodeos kept going, while the big ones cancelled. We brought in new fans.”

Phillips rodeo marks 41 years in Bartow County

They also hosts the Bartow County Rodeo, an event that surprised her with the growth.

“If you don’t get there early, it’s standing room only,” she said of the event, which is celebrating it’s 41st year on July 8-9.

Bridgett, an Oklahomoa native, and her husband of almost 30 years, Danny, met on the rodeo circuit in Peotone, Illinois, where she was barrel racing and he was competing in calf roping and team roping.

She said the arena they use for the rodeo only gets used for the rodeo because their ranch is an operational one, raising horses and cattle. Increasing the number of events requires using space needed for the livestock and to raise hay.

Tough Enough to Wear Pink

In 2008, Bridgett was diagnosed with breast cancer and the rodeo became the “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” rodeo to raise awareness about the disease and the importance of early mammograms.

Phillips Rodeo is also hosting a raffle sponsored by Drifters Trading of Eton, which is selling tickets for a chance to win a Bush Hog. Proceeds goes to help Sassy’s Hope, a local group that provides gas cards and other assistance to local cancer patients.

Read about Sassy’s Hope here.

Spectators can expect all eight rodeo events: bareback riding, bull riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway ropers, saddle bronc riders, and steer wrestlers. There will be funnel cake and concessions available, including Phillips’ Ranch sweet tea, and souvenirs.

The rodeo is part of the Professional Cowboy Association so spectators may recognize some of the competitors and there may be some locals competing as well.

At a glance:

Who: Phillips Rodeo

Where: Phillips Ranch

475 Mt. Zion Rd. NE

Resaca, GA 30735

When: June 24&25

Gates open at 6 p.m.

Rodeo starts at 8 p.m.

Costs: General admission $15

Children 5-9 $10

4 and under are free.

Who: Phillips Rodeo

Where: Bartow County Saddle Club Covered Arena

43 Saddle Club Lane

Cartersville, GA 30120

When: July 8&9

Gates open at 6 p.m.

Rodeo starts at 8 p.m.

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