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Rodeo returns to Camden to help high school students receive scholarships

The annual Jim Smith Memorial Rodeo on Friday and Saturday will include barrel racing, pole bending, roping, goat tying, and bull riding.

CAMDEN, S.C. — The annual Jim Smith Memorial Rodeo is taking place Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with fun for the whole family. Events will include barrel racing, pole bending, roping, goat tying, and bull riding. 

Hundreds of fans are preparing to fill the Outlaw Arena in Camden to help support local high school rodeo competitors. 

"A lot of people don't know that in high school rodeo you can earn college scholarships, and this particular rodeo, the Jim Smith Memorial Rodeo, everything goes back to the High School Rodeo Association for a scholarship that our seniors can apply for," said Katherine Kuntz, State Secretary for South Carolina High School Rodeo Association. "It helps so many kids, and it helps so much because college is so expensive these days."

Make sure you plan to attend to see one of your very own Kershaw County Cowgirls compete this weekend!!....... Blake...

Posted by James A Smith Memorial Rodeo on Sunday, May 8, 2022

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Kuntz says the event usually draws 700 to a 1,000 people.

High School junior Chris Taylor says walking into the crowd is a feeling unlike anything else. "Your adrenaline starts pumping ... if you don't get nervous something's wrong, you're about to get on the back of a bull."

Taylor says he gets his passion for the sport from his parents. "My dad rode bulls for almost twenty years, and when I got to the age, I just got into it, and now I love it." 

The event takes place Friday and Saturday, rain or shine. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages five through ten, and children under five are free. 

All proceeds go to scholarships in memory of Jim Smith's honor. 

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