Saddle up for the 2nd annual Silk Hope Pro Rodeo on June 23 & 24

By Gene Galin

Silk Hope, NC – The annual Silk Hope Pro Rodeo is back with a bang on June 23 & 24, and I had the opportunity to talk with Dennis “Strawberry” Pruitt, the man behind this event. With his colorful nickname and extensive rodeo experience, Pruitt shared insights into the rodeo’s history, his journey as a champion bull rider, and what attendees can expect from this year’s festivities.

A Rodeo with a Unique Charm

Dennis “Strawberry” Pruitt, known for his distinctive nickname, explained the origin of his moniker. It all began when he had red hair, which has now turned gray. However, the name stuck, and it became a well-known alias among rodeo enthusiasts. As we conversed in front of the bulls safely locked in their enclosure, Pruitt’s infectious enthusiasm for the rodeo was palpable.

Pruitt, who hails from Spartanburg, South Carolina, embarked on his journey as a rodeo rider at a young age. Inspired by the allure of the cowboy lifestyle, he took up bull riding at just 11 years old. Alongside a group of friends, Pruitt participated in junior rodeos and steadily climbed the ranks, eventually making a name for himself as a championship bull rider.

From Champion Bull Rider to Rodeo Producer

Reflecting on his rodeo career, Pruitt shared how he transitioned from being a champion rider to producing and organizing rodeo events. His passion for rodeo led him to explore various avenues within the sport. After retiring from riding bulls at the age of 28, he began venturing into cattle events and gradually took on the role of a rodeo producer. Today, Pruitt is the force behind Double Creek Pro Rodeo, his company that organizes around 25 events annually.

The Silk Hope Pro Rodeo: A Thrilling Experience

The Silk Hope Pro Rodeo, hosted in Silk Hope for it’s second year, has become an anticipated event in the region. Pruitt decided to bring the rodeo here after receiving recommendations from friends who believed it would be an ideal location. After engaging with the local Ruritan Club and garnering their support, the inaugural rodeo was held, and it was an overwhelming success.

Last year’s event drew a crowd of approximately 5,000 people, with such massive attendance that some were regrettably turned away. However, Pruitt and his team have learned from this experience and have made accommodations for even more attendees this year. Additional bleachers have been set up to ensure everyone gets a chance to witness the thrilling events.

Action-Packed Rodeo Lineup

The Silk Hope Pro Rodeo promises an exciting lineup of events that will keep spectators on the edge of their seats. Pruitt provided insights into some of the competitions that attendees can look forward to.

  1. Bareback Riding: Watch as riders mount bucking horses, showcasing their balance and agility.
  2. Saddle Bronc Riding: Witness the riders as they demonstrate their skill in staying atop bucking broncos.
  3. Breakaway Rope and Barrel Race: Cheer on the female participants as they compete in this event.
  4. Calf Roping and Team Roping: Marvel at the precision and speed displayed by ropers as they attempt to capture calves in record time.
  5. Bull Riding: The crowd favorite, bull riding, will captivate spectators with its raw power and adrenaline.

In addition to the rodeo competitions, the Silk Hope Pro Rodeo also features the comedic talents of renowned rodeo clown Mike Wentworth, who keeps the crowd entertained during breaks in the action.

The event will begin with a prayer and the National Anthem, symbolizing the values and traditions deeply ingrained in American culture.

Our interview concluded with Pruitt encouraging families to attend the rodeo, emphasizing that it promises two hours of fun-filled entertainment suitable for all ages. He advised attendees to bring cash as entry at the gate is cash-only, and there will be various vendors selling food, cowboy hats, and novelty items. Pruitt expressed his enthusiasm for the event and invited everyone to come and enjoy the rodeo in Silk Hope.

The gates open at 5:30 pm and the event begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20. Cash only. Kids under 5 years of age get in for free.

You can watch the interview with Mr. Pruitt on YouTube.

Interview with Mr. “Strawberry” Pruitt, organizer of a rodeo in Silk Hope. Events include bull riding, calf roping, and barrel racing.

00:04 Mr. Pruitt organized a successful rodeo in Silk Hope

  • Mr. Pruitt’s friends suggested Silk Hope as a good place to have a rodeo
  • The Ruritan Club helped organize the rodeo, which had 5,000 attendees and was a huge success

01:15 Annual rodeo event with various competitions

  • Competitions include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, breakaway rope, barrel race, calf roping, team roping, and bull riding
  • Event starts at 7:30 PM, gates open at 5:30 PM

02:32 Bull riding started at 11 years old

  • Started bull riding at 11 years old with friends
  • Started with Junior Bulls and worked way up to bigger Bulls

03:50 Double Creek Pro Rodeo puts on 25 events a year

  • Started riding bulls at 16 and became a champion at 28
  • Championship is based on points accumulated throughout the year

05:15 Bull riding is a sport that requires passion and dedication.

  • Only a few riders have ever ridden a particular bull.
  • Riders enter the rodeo a week before to select the bulls they will ride.

06:44 Bull riding is the last event, kids will enjoy watching bucking horses and bulls, and there will be a good rodeo clown to keep the crowd entertained.

  • Bull riding is the last event and the winner will be determined based on their best and worst rides.
  • Kids will enjoy watching bucking horses and bulls the most.
  • A good rodeo clown like Mike Wentworth keeps the crowd involved with jokes and acts.

07:49 The rodeo event starts with prayer and national anthem to honor God and Country.

  • Traditionally, the rodeo event starts with prayer and national anthem to honor God and Country.
  • The event usually lasts for two hours, starting at 7:30 pm and includes bull riding, clown, and bucking horses.

08:55 Silk Hope Rodeo: Bring cash and family for a fun night

  • Silk Hope Rodeo is happening today and tomorrow
  • Entry fee is $20 cash only, vendors selling cowboy hats and novelty items are available