MARTIN (April 8) – The 53rd annual University of Tennessee at Martin Spring College Rodeo is set to take place this week at the Ned Ray McWherter Agricultural Pavilion and NW (Doc) Robinson Arena. Action will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (April 15), Friday (April 16) and Saturday (April 17).
Because of social-distancing regulations, attendance is capped at one-third capacity for all three nights. Tickets quickly sold out, but for the first time this season, all three performance rounds plus Friday slack, will be streamed for $10 per session at this link: https://utmsports.com/RodeoTickets.
There will be no walk-up ticket sales for the 2021 UT Martin Rodeo. Masks will be requited for all fans in attendance, who will need to enter the facility through the upper-level southwest entrance. The will call for ticket pickup will be located at the same entrance and will open at 6:30 p.m. for all three performances. For fans wishing to pick up their tickets in advance, they can visit the Dunagan Alumni Center on (today) Wednesday, April 14 from 1-5 p.m. Fans will need to show a copy of the ticket information on their phone, a paper copy of their ticket order or a photo ID for will call pickup.
Timed events and rough stock events (including bull riding) will take place every night. UT Martin will compete against cowboys and cowgirls from the University of Arkansas-Monticello, East Mississippi Community College, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University, Missouri Valley College, Murray State University, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Pearl River Community College, Southern Arkansas University, University of Tennessee, Three Rivers College and University of West Alabama.
Rodeo week officially kicks off on Wednesday, April 14 as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is sponsoring the annual crawfish supper at the American Legion Post #55 in Martin at 5:30 p.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available as well as corn on the cob and new potatoes for the price of $15 per plate. The event is hosted by the UTM Rodeo Booster Club as proceeds go towards the UT Martin Rodeo Scholarship Fund.
The Thursday performance is Tyson, Obion County Complex Performance night. The Weakley County 4-H Mounted Drill team will perform the opening ceremony while fans can enter a drawing for the chance to win an MTD riding lawnmower.
Friday is Tennessee Tractor, LLC Performance night as well as Black Out Night to raise money for the Ashley Brooks Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Weakley County 4-H Mounted Drill team will perform at 7:10 and 7:30 p.m. while a second drawing for the MTD riding lawnmower will take place if a winner is not crowned on Thursday.
Saturday begins with the Edward Jones Investments free barbecue lunch, located in the downtown Farmer’s Market location at 11:30 a.m. The Martin Paving Company Championship Finals then takes place as the top-10 Ozark Region contestants from the opening two rounds will compete in each event.
Garrett Yerigan returns to serve as the public address announcer while Brinson James will serve as the rodeo clown and funny man. Top bucking bulls and horses will be provided by Mark Johnson of Universal Rodeos based out of Crenshaw, Miss.
A silent auction is currently open and will run through Friday, April 16. All proceeds go to the UT Martin Rodeo Scholarship Fund. For a full list of items available during this year’s auction, please visit the UTM Rodeo Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/utm.rodeo.
Action from all three nights can be heard locally through the radio airwaves on Star 95.1 FM and online at this link: https://streamdb6web.securenetsystems.net/v5/index.cfm?stationCallSign=WCDZ.
Annually considered one of the biggest events on campus, UT Martin has received “Rodeo of the Year” honors by the Ozark Region in 13 out of the last 14 years. Head coach John Luthi is in his 24th season in charge of the program, as he has guided the men’s team to 19 combined Ozark Region championships – including the men’s team’s 2014 national championship.