News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Blitz the Wonder Dog

2 new acts coming to Huntsville

The Longhorn World Championship Rodeo this weekend will feature 180 competitors from 24 states in six world championship events: bareback bronc riding, bull riding, cowgirl barrel racing, calf roping, saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling.

This rodeo once was owned by country singer Loretta Lynn and husband O.V. Mooney, and she performed at each event. It has been part of the International Pro Rodeo Association since 1966, when Bruce Lehrke and wife Sheila got involved in Loretta Lynn's Longhorn Rodeo. They bought it 10 years ago and continue to add features.

Lehrke said two new acts will be coming to Huntsville. The Pemberton Family Wild West Review includes trick riders and a trick rope, plus their 6- and 10-year-old sons, who are becoming bullwhip artists. He said their rodeo clown owns Blitz the Wonder Dog who does tricks for audiences.

Their team of riders touring with the Longhorn show include other trick horseback and fancy riders, a professional bullfighter, a world champion woman bull rider, a rodeo barrel man and other athletes on horseback. About 140 head of livestock will come from Longhorn Ranch near Nashville.

Lehrke's wife said along with steer wrestler Clint Legg from Athens, two others from Alabama are signed up: James Gardner of Oakman in calf roping and Linda Gail Stewart of Mathews in barrel racing.

Other activities will include a beginner horsemanship clinic 40 minutes before each performance and a "children's stick horse stampede" just before the 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Those ages 2 to 10 should arrive 45 minutes early with their own stick horses and register to participate and compete for prizes.

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