Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 22, 2013

Annual rodeo event changes hands, name

Pro rodeo circuit match moving to final weekend of May

Corsicana — If you’re hoping to kick back in April for the Derrick Days Rodeo, you’re going to have to wait. And be prepared for a new name.

The annual rodeo is now being presented by VLK Productions, spearheaded by Kerens’ David Atkeisson and his partner, Ronald Burton. The event, now dubbed the Navarro County Pro Rodeo, is being moved to May 31 and June 1, but it will still be held at the Navarro County Exposition Center. The stock will continue to be provided by the award-winning Hat Brand Rodeo Company with VLK handling the production of the rodeo. Additionally, proceeds from the rodeo will benefit the Navarro County Go Texan efforts, Atkeisson said.

“I’ve been around this rodeo for years,” Atkeisson said. “I worked it as a judge, then Ronald came in and clowned it last year, and did the entertainment.”

Burton will once again handle the entertainment part, and he said that will be a focal point as the two try to grow what Lynn Bottoms and Hat Brand sustained for years and years.

“We want to put more production into it,” Burton said. “You have to entertain people. Rodeo fans are the best fans in the world and that is why we try to put on a show the whole family will enjoy.”

In terms of rodeo action, the duo promises competition just that of the past. Cowboys from the Cowboy Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA) and United Pro Rodeo Association (UPRA) will compete.

There could be some big-name cowboys in town that weekend.

“A lot of them from the (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) and others that make the Wrangler (National Finals Rodeo) compete in these as well,” Burton said.

An official list of cowboys will not be available until a few days before the event.

Berry Dodge Ram will serve as the title sponsor, but more than 15 event sponsors have already signed on, Atkeisson and Burton said. Gates will open at 6 p.m. nightly, with the rodeo beginning about 8 p.m.

Pre-rodeo entertainment, set for 7 p.m., is scheduled to be kids mutton bustin’ and the Heart of Texas Cowgirl’s Drill Team.

“We’re working hard to re-establish the rodeo, and to re-establish the relationship with the community,” Atkeisson said. “We want it to grow and grow.”

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