Bullriders produce the bucks
BERRYVILLE -- There will be a lot of bull in Berryville this weekend as the National Federation of Professional Bullriders brings its show to the Carroll County Fairgrounds.
The Saturday showdown is a benefit for Green Forest's Jimmy Bishop, a longtime businessman in the cattle industry. Bishop was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After giving much of his life to the cattle industry in Green Forest, including working at the stockyards, the 62-year old is trying to buck the system and beat the odds.
"We are trying to put together this benefit and hopefully that will help him out,' said event promoter Matt Palmer, of Rockin' P Rodeo out of Koshkonong, MO. "The event is paid for. So every dollar will go to him. We should have a tremendous response. He is a loved man. I'm sure people will come out to support him."
Admission for the 7:30 p.m. releasing of the first bull is $5 and can be purchased at the gate. All proceeds will go straight to the Bishop family, as Jimmy, and wife Dawn, wrangle the disease.
"He is truly not doing very good," Palmer said. "Hopefully, we can get a lot of people there so we can raise as much money as possible. This will be one of the best events in this part of the state. This is one of the best sets of bulls and best sets of riders I have ever put together."
A total of 40 riders from nine states are currently signed up to test the fairground surface. In addition to the $3500 check presented to the winner, an additional $3,600 is up for grabs for riders able to withstand the 8-second count. To top it all off, and to make more money available for the Bishop's, an extra $1000 is on tap for the overall winner. All they have to do is accept the challenge of riding "Mississippi Hippy", a bull ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
"This is not a has-been," Palmer asserted. "This is a current ranking. He made the short round at the PBR Nationals in Las Vegas. He is the real deal."
If the overall winner accepts the challenge and completes the ride, he will earn the $1000 bonus. If he declines the ride or accepts and the bull wins, so do the Bishops.
There will be a chili supper to kick off festivities at 4 p.m. with a silent auction and raffle items awarded during the event. Palmer said everything from Western jewelry, purses and decor to frozen turkeys are on the table and up for grabs. But the big prize is a 3-day, 3-night archery hunt in Northern Missouri with TNT outfitters. The winner of the trip will receive meals, lodging and a guide.
An autograph session will also be available and Pork Chop will be entertaining the audience as the rodeo clown.
The event will held indoors, creating a climate controlled environment, something the fans should enjoy as the temperatures continue to drop.
Palmer said the event would not be possible without sponsors.
"One person I really want to thank is Kirk Powell," Palmer said. "He is with North Arkansas Livestock Auction in Green Forest and they are the presenting sponsor. We really appreciate what they have done. We expect a standing-room only crowd. And with it only being $5 to get in everyone should be able to come."