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Killebrew International Rodeo kicks off in Jackson on Thursday night

Killebrew rodeo
Photo courtesy of the Killebrew Ag Foundation

Saddle up, Mississippi! The second annual Killebrew International Rodeo will soon be underway in the capital city.

What initially began as a memorial for the late Keath Killebrew, who died in a plane crash in 2021, has now gained international status with contestants from across the globe setting their eyes on Jackson to showcase their extraordinary talents.

From Thursday to Saturday, more than 600 contestants are expected to take their talents to the Mississippi Coliseum and compete for more than $200,000 in prize money in six rodeo events. The rodeo will kick off on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a “Bull-Stravaganza” featuring more than 50 bull riders attempting to achieve an eight-second ride to earn a spot in the final rounds the next two nights.

Other competitions including rodeo favorites such as bareback bronc, saddle bronc, ranch broncs, calf roping, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, and barrel racing will begin on Friday and run through Saturday.

Additional amenities at the event will include rodeo vendors selling clothing, jewelry, and rodeo merchandise, activities for kids, and meet-and-greet opportunities with clowns, bullfighters, and special entertainers. The audience will even be able to be involved in the rodeo as two games of Bull Poker will be played with patrons selected as participants.

Bull Poker
A game of Bull Poker being played.
(Photo courtesy of the Killebrew Ag Foundation)

“We are proud to have hosted the inaugural Killebrew Rodeo last year at the Mississippi Fairgrounds and excited the International Professional Rodeo Association awarded it the #1 Best New Rodeo of the Year as well as the #1 Best Indoor Rodeo of the Year,” Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said. “We’re excited to host it again this year and I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy some rodeo fun and support Mississippi agriculture.”

The Killebrew International Pro Rodeo is being produced by Jeremy Smith of Deep South Rodeo Productions and is sanctioned by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA), which recognized last year’s event as the “Best Indoor Rodeo of the Year.”

IPRA is the second-largest professional rodeo association, sanctioning nearly 300 rodeos in the U.S. and Canada. The association has a membership base of over 2,400 members with the Killebrew Rodeo being one of the newest sanctioned rodeos, winning top awards at the most recent IPRA finals in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The mission of the Killebrew Ag Foundation is to bring up a new generation of Mississippi farmers through scholarships and land-based learning as the Killebrew family and friends are deeply rooted in agriculture.

“For us, hosting this event is so much bigger than simply bringing a world-class rodeo to Mississippi,” Alyssa Killebrew, the event’s founder and Keath’s widow, said. “It is our passionate mission to train, support, and empower the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and money raised at the Killebrew International Pro Rodeo will help us do just that!”

Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketmaster and at the coliseum’s box office. More information about the Killebrew Pro International Rodeo can be found here.

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