UPRA Finals Rodeo rides into town this weekend
From Staff Reports

Nov. 16, 2006 - The best of the best will meet at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center arena this weekend for the big finish to the United Professional Rodeo Association season.

´┐ŻEvery November since 1979, the Civic Center has been the venue for UPRA Finals Rodeo, which features the year's top 15 contestants in eight event categories. The finals this year are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

UPRA Executive Director and General Manager Jerry P. Hill calls the event a place where the best meets the best, and the top cowboys and cowgirls from all across the Southern United States join with the top stock contractors in Sulphur Springs for a final showdown rodeo.

The finalists compete in their events in about 125 rodeos which span across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas throughout the season, earning points and eventually one of the 15 slots in their category at the finals.

And there's a lot of money at stake — last year's finals paid out almost $125,000 to contestants

But the championship rodeo offers more than just the circuit's best bull riders, tie-down ropers and barrel racers. 

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday will be the annual Handicapable Rodeo, which this year will feature more than 250 special kids competing in fun events.

The UPRA Finals Rodeo also contributes to special causes. Friday night, UPRA will honor the Boys and Girls Club of Sulphur Springs, and on Saturday, it's Breast Cancer Awareness, with everyone — contestants and spectators alike — being asked to "make the Civic Center a sea of pink (or, as the slogan goes, "Are U Tough Enough To Wear Pink?"). The 2006 UPRA rodeo committees will be recognized on Sunday.

Nine young ladies will also compete for the title of Miss UPRA 2007. Contestants this year in the annual pageant held in conjunction with the Finals Rodeo include Ashley David, Channing Horton, Chasity Travillion, Ashley Haley, Lorin Henderson, Casey Lea Willis, Ashley Penny, Rachael Helvey and Jordan Davenport.  The new queen will be crowned during Saturday night's activities.

Tickets for each day's rodeo are $8 for adults and $7 for children at the gate. Contact the Civic Center Box Office at 885-8071 for tickets and other information about the UPRA Finals Rodeo.

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