A new rodeo event is coming to Durant to honor a Southeastern legend in the sport and to help ensure future student participation.
The first Betty Gayle Cooper Ratliff Alumni Rodeo and Barbecue has been set for Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Durant Fairgrounds Arena.
The event is the brainchild of first-year SE Rodeo team advisor and Equestrian Center manager Christi Braudrick.
She said the event will help raise funds for two scholarships to honor Ratliff, a long-time SE rodeo coach, as well as Cindy Ann Perrin, a rodeo student at SE who died in a car accident many years ago.
Competition events will include barrel racing, girls breakaway, team roping, steer wrestling, bull riding and other tie-down events. The competition is open to any former SE students - regardless of their involvement in the rodeo program.
“It’s for anyone that’s ever gone to Southeastern,” Braudrick said. She is gathering information on contestants so announcers can give some color to the event. “It will make it a little more fun to watch.”
The barbecue will be held at Haggard Hall starting at 4 p.m. and will run up until rodeo time, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. A silent action and “top hand auction” will be held, with rodeo team members offering four hours of work to the top bidders.
One of the auction items is a donated breeding fee from a National Finals Rodeo stud horse. Money raised will go back to the rodeo program and the two scholarships.
For more information, or to enter the rodeo or donate auction items, call Braudrick at (580) 745-2708.