Team roping will once again be a marquee event at this year's PRCA Rodeo in Licking.

For 35 years, cowboys and cowgirls have brought their riding talents to Licking for the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo, and they’ll be back from Thursday through Saturday of this week (May 30 and 31, and June 1).

The stop in Texas County is one of many they make through the year as they try to qualify for championships. Some try to make it to the National Finals in Las Vegas and others the Circuit Finals (which will elevate the top two to the National Circuit Finals each spring in Kissimmee, Fla.).

March 21-24 found many familiar faces to Licking residents to Kissimmee competing for their circuit. A circuit can be compared to a region in other sports.

Jesse Pope, a bareback bronc rider from Marshall, competed and was 81st on his first horse. He recalled last year’s Licking Rodeo, where on Friday night he placed on a great horse. Pope is hoping for the same outcome this year, with some cooperation from Mother Nature with dry ground. He is a college sophomore, leading the college region and the national standings in Bareback Riding.

The week after he competes at Licking, he will head to Casper, Wyo., for the College Nationals with dreams of a gold buckle.

Other competitors from Licking’s circuit – the Great Lakes Circuit – who did well and fans should watch for include team ropers Payden Emmett from Ponca, Ark., and Iceman Miller from Mauston, Wis. The pair caught their steer in both performances and semi-finals to take them to the final four where they placed third. Some barrel racers who were also in the money included Lacinda Rose from Willard and Kricket Gintner from Eau Claire, Wis., who also placed third in the Final Four.

This year there will be a 50/50 drawing at the rodeo each night; tickets are $1 apiece or six for $5, with the winning ticket drawn toward the end of the evening. Four people will be walking around selling tickets, with an estimated amount being announced as the “pot” grows.

The 2019 Licking Rodeo will begin at each night. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with mutton busters signing up by 6:15 p.m.; participants must be 8 and under and weigh less than 55 pounds. Tickets at the gate are $15, or $7 for kids ages 6-to-11. Advance tickets are being sold at Licking City Hall and JL Friend Lumber in Licking. Advance tickets are $12, or $6 for kids.

On Thursday, kids 11-and-under get in free. Special events include a large screen TV giveaway (sponsored by Rinne’s Tire Pro), and at intermission the Licking FFA takes on the Salem FFA in a tug-o-war.

Friday is Military Night, as all branches of the U.S. military will be honored during the opening ceremony. Children 5-and-under are invited to participate in the goat scramble during intermission.

On Saturday, downtown activities will find families having fun before the 2 p.m. parade, an event to which the kids always look forward to.

Saturday is Pink Night, and attendees are encouraged to wear pink to show support for women’s cancer research. The calf scramble for kids ages 6-to-11 will be during intermission and another big screen TV will be given away (sponsored by Cable America).

A quilt made and donated by Restorative Justice will be raffled off, with tickets $1 each or six for $5, available at the rodeo. Proceeds will go to the Licking Chamber of Commerce. Look for tickets being sold downtown on Saturday.

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