Back in the Saddle

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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GATES – Aaron Brown admitted he was lonely during Mother’s Day weekend last year.

This year, however, will hopefully be a different story.

Brown will once again open the gates of his SloGo Ranch, located off Paige Riddick Road, on Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8, for the 23rd annual Gates County Rodeo.

Last year’s rodeo was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical precautions have been put in place for this year’s rodeo. To learn more, visit

Meanwhile inside the arena, the rodeo participants will vie for thousands of dollars in prize money during the events that include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, cowgirls’ barrel racing, breakaway roping and wild bull riding.

The event, which gets underway nightly at 7:30 pm, is sanctioned by the Southern Rodeo Association. Gates open each day at 5 pm.

“We have been providing a good ‘ole rodeo for the last 23 years for your family,” Brown noted. “We have many of the top ten contestants of both the Southern Rodeo Association and International Rodeo Association attending to provide some thrills and family fun.

“This is just good, wholesome family entertainment for all ages,” Brown added. “Over the years I’ve seen spectators from age 4 to age 80 having themselves a blast. I want to invite everyone to come out and experience what rodeo life is all about.”

He said that due to the family nature of the event, no alcohol is sold or allowed on the premises.

Concessions will be sold.

Tickets are currently on sale in advance ($12 for adults and $8 for children ages 5-12) at Brinkley’s Hardware in Gates, McKeel Jewelry in Ahoskie, Starr Motors, in Suffolk, VA, and South Point Saddlery in Suffolk, VA. Advance ticket sales end on May 5.

At the gate, tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Only cash is accepted at the gate.

Children ages four-and-under are admitted free. Parking is free.

This year’s event will feature Mark Northall, a rodeo announcer form Newmarket, Tennessee, along with rodeo clown Dusty Myers of Corinth, Mississippi.

Northall, a former rodeo competitor, has 25 years of experience as the man behind the microphone. Myers is a 9-time winner of the Clown of the Year Award. He has entertained at previous Gates County rodeos.

The rodeo arena is located at 158 Paige Riddick Road just off US 13 at the North Carolina-Virginia state line. Signs will point the way.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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