GODFREY — Eight seconds are all you need to gain glory riding a bull — but at this year’s Beverly Farm Equestrian Center benefit, riders will contribute to a beloved local cause, too.
The Beverly Farm Equestrian Center with Rolling Hills, Spencer T. Olin, and Rock Springs Golf Presents Amped Up Productions Bull Riding Event takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, and promises to bring all the fun of the rodeo to the equestrian center — and then some.
“The main event is the pro bull riding,” said Jeff Rains, equestrian program director at the Beverly Farm Foundation, adding that the bull riders are professionals, some of whom run the professional bull riding circuit. “They’re going to try to ride a bull in 8 seconds. There will be over 20 bulls being ridden that day.”
However, the main event is only part of the action. The day will offer plenty of opportunities for children to get in on the fun, starting with a junior rodeo — “little groups where the kids can learn how to throw a rope, ride a fake bull made of a straw bale,” Rains said. “And kids can participate in a mutton bustin’, which means they’re going to get to ride a sheep. Any kid under 80 pounds can have a chance to ride one of the mutton.”
The day also offers pony rides and face-painting, as well as two balloon entertainers from Way Cool Balloons — huge favorites at previous Beverly Farm Foundation events. Of Michael Geerlof, one of the balloon artists, Rains said, “The kids just love him, and they’ll wait in line forever. He stays until every kid gets a balloon.”
But there won’t just be kid stuff to enjoy; there will be a variety of local favorites offering food and drinks for purchase, including Godfrey Meat Market barbecue, Morales Tacos, kettle corn, shaved ice, soda, water and Budweiser products through Donnewald Distributing’s beer wagon.
Proceeds will benefit the equestrian center, the community riding program, which offers riding lessons for ages 5 and up for both able-bodied and disabled riders, and Beverly Farm’s own Special Olympics equestrian team.
“We’ve competed for the last three years in the equestrian Special Olympics, and generally we have a team of 18 athletes who participate,” Rains explained. “Those who receive gold medals will then advance on to the state level and compete there.”
Rains encourages anyone interested in volunteering to contact him.
“We’re always looking for volunteers — volunteers are what keep us going,” he said.
He also mentioned his gratitude to the event sponsors, saying, “Without our sponsors and donors, we couldn’t have made this event.”
Rolling Hills, Spencer T. Olin and Rock Springs golf courses are the main event sponsors; other sponsors include Freer Auto Body, Seiler Excavating, Georgewitz Contracting, Quick Wash, Piasa Motor Fuels, Patches and Badges for Kids, Gateway Equine and Small Animal Hospital, Arrow Signs, Altonized Credit Union, and many other businesses and individuals.
Gate admission on the day of the event is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 6-12; children younger than 5 will be admitted for free.
For information, to become a sponsor or to volunteer to help at this year’s event, contact the equestrian center at (618) 466-0367, ext. 787, or call Jeff Rains at (618) 567-8098.
“We just want to invite everyone out to come and have a great time,” Rains said.