Award-winning rodeo coming to Rice Arena
Jared Begnaud of Lafayette rides Commanche Man during a 2003 Bergeron Rodeo competition. The Crowley Rodeo will be held at the Crowley Rice Arena from March 14 through 16. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Jay Bergeron can remember when his family’s rodeo first came to Crowley.
“I remember when we first started there was barely anyone in attendance,” he said Thursday. “Now there’s so many people we have to have three dates over a weekend.”
The Bergeron Rodeo Company will be at the Crowley Rice Arena on the weekend of March 14-16. The company was recently voted the 2013 Stock Contractor of the Year in the Louisiana Rodeo Cowboy Association (LRCA). The Crowley Rodeo was recognized as the 20th Best Paying Rodeo out of 260 rodeos sanctioned by the United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA).
Among the events that will be held are bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and the always popular bull riding. There will also be girl’s events such as barrel racing and breakaway roping. A calf scramble will also be held for younger boys and girls.
Bergeron’s father, Jimmy, started the company 35 years ago. Including the years that he competed in the rodeo, he has been involved in the competitions for over 50 years.
“My father rode bulls,” said Jay Bergeron. “I did a little bit of everything.”
During Thursday’s interview, Jay Bergeron described riding bulls as the “ultimate adrenaline rush.”
“Oh man, it’s unexplainable,” he said as he recalled his experiences. “You’re really not happy until it’s over with. It’s very dangerous and the guys who do it usually have a good relationship with the man upstairs.
“They know that they could not only get hurt badly, they could be killed.”
Jay acknowledges that the threat of cowboys getting hurt is a part of their business.
“We have an old rodeo saying,” he said. “You don’t want to see anyone get hurt but you definitely don’t want to miss it.”
When he isn’t traveling with his rodeo, Jimmy Bergeron has ranches that he tends to in Mowata and Lake Charles. Jay Bergeron said that the Crowley Rodeo was “the closest thing he sees to a home crowd.” However, the Bergerons are rarely home.
“We travel about nine months out of the year,” he said with a smile. “We may spend a lot of time on the road but this a fun way of never having to grow up.”
The times for the Crowley shows are at 7:30 p.m. (Friday and Saturday shows) and 2 p.m. (Sunday matinee).
Those who attend should be in for quite an adrenaline rush themselves.
“There will definitely be some high action rodeo,” said Jay. “Crowley has been good to us during the past few years. We have been drawing quite a crowd here.”