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South Congaree Championship Rodeo in the final five for Indoor Rodeo of the Year again for 2021

South Congaree, SC 01/03/2022 (Paul Kirby) – The South Congaree Championship Rodeo is once again in the running for the International Pro Rodeo Association’s (IPRA’s) Indoor Rodeo of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the IPRA’s finals that are held in Edmond, Oklahoma next week. The awards are presented during the Golden Buckle Gala on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022. Last year, the South Congaree Championship Rodeo won 5th place in the same competition. They were beat by several rodeos that have long histories, some going back more than five decades.

The South Congaree Championship Rodeo is in its 5th year. Every July, the rodeo brings fans from across the state to enjoy two nights of action-packed entertainment in Lexington County. It also draws top level contestants from across the U.S. and as far away as Canada.

The rodeo’s success is directly attributable to one family, the Woodleys. Rance and Janice Woodley, their son Josh, and his wife Shawna have been involved as promoters and committee members since this event was first conceived. Their management has made this a premier event nationwide, and each year, it has grown bigger and gotten better and better. “It takes a tremendous amount of work and effort on the part of our family to make this rodeo into what it’s become,” Rance Woodley said during a recent interview. “We believe in the venue, the leaders and citizens of South Congaree, and Lexington County. We’ve invested a lot personally in this but to us, it’s been very rewarding to see how much the people enjoy the rodeo. Just walk through during the rodeo and look at the children's faces. That in itself makes all the work worthwhile." Woodley continued, "The fact that we are in the running for awards through the IPRA each year has really put a spotlight on the South Congaree community and what a great place it is to come and visit. The contestants have let us know that they look forward to coming to Lexington County each summer to compete in the South Congaree Championship Rodeo,” he concluded.

One of the reasons that world-class contestants come to the South Congaree Rodeo is what is known as added money. In the world of professional rodeos, added money is additional cash added to the standard prize winnings in each of the categories. As an example, if standard 1st Prize amount for Team Roping is $400 and the promoter puts $200 of their own money in the pot as added money, taking first prize in that event will now pay the members of the winning team $600! Again, this added money is provided by the promoters and through the event’s sponsors. Naturally, the larger prizes entice better contestants who come and vie for that additional cash.

Rodeos are nominated for the IPRA awards by the contestants who participate and follow the circuit each year. This speaks volumes about the quality of the events that receive nominations. Many of the contestants who follow the circuit begin competing in late winter or in early spring and continue to compete through the fall. On any given week, they may have the opportunity to compete in numerous rodeos across the nation. If they bypass other, older, more established rodeos to come to South Congaree and compete, it provides a clear insight into what they think of this event.

Starting last year, rodeo fans got a great surprise from the Woodleys and the South Congaree Championship Rodeo. In March, they held a bucking only event called a Bull Bash. This included the action-packed bull riding as well as bronc bucking events. It was such a hit they the Rance Woodley say it’s returning this year with one added event. “This year, the spring event will feature bull riding, bronc riding, and barrel racing. These are some of the most exciting events and the rodeo community is already beginning to buzz about an opportunity to return to South Congaree in the spring," he stated. This year’s Bull Bash will be held on March 25th and 26th. More information about that will be coming out soon.

As the Woodleys travel to the IPRA Finals next week, many in the community are hoping that a 1st Place award is their waiting for them. The more accolades the South Congaree Championship Rodeo receives each year, the more contestants from across North America hear about and decide to travel to Lexington County to see what the South Congaree Championship Rodeo is all about.

As always, The Lexington Ledger will keep you updated on the March and July events. As the last weekend in March draws closer, you can check for more information and online ticket sales.


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