COLUMBIA — Sedalia's Kevin Dinsdale knows high school rodeo. His wife, Maralee, started participating in the event in 1973, and his daughter Randi competed while she was in high school from 1996-2000.
“This is a great event and when I found out that it was being held in Columbia, I decided to come up and help support the Missouri High School Rodeo in any way I could,” Kevin Dinsdale said.
Riders of all ages gathered at the Boone County Fairgrounds on Wednesday night to open this year's event with the Open Barrel Jackpot Race. Barrel Racing is an event in which horse and rider attempt to weave in and out of a pattern of three barrels as fast as possible.
Vendors could be seen setting up all around the arena as a crowd made their way out to see the exhibition event.
“I’ve been around rodeo for as long as I can remember, and I was really looking forward to coming here with my family and watching the competition unfold,” Kevin Dinsdale said.
On this night, however, Dinsdale found himself unexpectedly helping coordinate the event by volunteering his time calling out riders' times over a microphone.
The competitive atmosphere was noticeable throughout the event, which serves as a fundraiser to pay for prizes and awards that will be given out on Sunday at the conclusion of the weekend competition.
“It’s a fun event that gives people of all ages a chance to come out and compete,” Sheila Clark, the Missouri High School Rodeo state secretary, said.
The event hosted 24 riders in the youth/under-18 division and 62 in the open age division and raised $800 for the Missouri High School Rodeo Association.
The three-day rodeo competition kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Thursday with the main performance starting at 7 p.m.