//9th Annual Event Kicks Off Rodeo Week

9th Annual Event Kicks Off Rodeo Week

In Clovis, April 24th.

Charity Roping at the Clovis Rodeo

(Clovis, California):  Actor and philanthropist James Pickens, Jr.  (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is set to host his long-running charity-roping event in Clovis, California.

The Ninth Annual James Pickens, Jr. Charity Roping will kick off Clovis Rodeo week on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.  The event offers a Pro-Am, Open, a Kids Dummy roping contest and will be live streamed on WranglerNetwork.com.

Now in its 104th year, the Clovis Rodeo is one of the oldest rodeos in America and has grown into one of the top three rodeos in California and top fifteen across the nation.

Trophy saddles by Coats Saddlery are awarded to the average winners in the Open, along with trophy buckles from Montana Silversmiths. And trophy saddles are awarded to the amateur winners in the Pro-Am.

Second annual Kids’ Dummy Roping competition sponsored by RopeSmart. Children from ages five years and under, six to eight and nine to twelve, will compete to win a Short Go Mini Roping Dummy with LED lights and wheels.

Sponsored by Bloomer Trailers, the largest manufacturer of horse trailers in the U.S. “We always try to align ourselves with people of character and integrity, like Mr. Pickens. And we share a common interest in team roping.  We are proud to partner with him to support this event in an effort to grow the sport, ” says company CEO Randy Bloomer.

Other sponsors include AQHA, Cactus Ropes, EquiBrand, LubriSyn|HA, Pro Equine, Professional’s Choice, Re-Borne, Resistol, and Wrangler.

Proceeds from the event benefit the James Pickens, Jr. Foundation and for the first time, the Clovis Rodeo Foundation. “The Clovis community has embraced us so warmly for the past few years.  I’m delighted to be able to give back to this community in a meaningful way.” – James Pickens Jr.

For information on the event, contact Margo LaDrew (323) 287-6273 or Michelle R Johnson (323) 440-6273. Or you can visit our website www.jamespickensjrfoundationroping.org.  For a full calendar of Rodeo events, visit www.clovisrodeo.com

Q&A w/ Founder James Pickens Jr

Can you share what types of ways the foundation has partnered with local communities? (what programs have you supported and what role did the foundation play, specifically [financially or otherwise])

JP – My wife Gina and I started our foundation with the idea that we wanted to draw attention to the underserved youth in the LA area and we wanted to do more than just write a check, so with my passion for the western lifestyle and the platform my celebrity has afforded me we thought holding a charity team roping event where we could capitalize on the relationships I’ve cultivated with the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) and the encouragement of people of like passion we’ve been able to raise over $100,000.00 for specific non profit programs over a 9 year period.

Who are some current community partners for the foundation and where? (specific organizations or programs or individuals the foundation is working to help support)

JP – The JPJ foundation has contributed (Financially) to Camp Giddy Up, a free weekend western lifestyle camp for inner city at-risk youth. An amazing after school program for 13 to 18-year-olds (in most cases) from single-parent households called Hands for Hope, it provides a safe place for kids to come after school where they can do homework, engage with other kids with caring adults. And we support the Clovis Rodeo Foundation.

How will the Kids Dummy roping contest be judged? (what are the judges looking for – who are the judges?)

JP – It will be judged on how successfully a contestant can cleanly rope a roping dummy from varying distances without missing. The judges will be representatives from Ropesmart, one of our principle sponsors and suppliers of the dummies the kids will be competing on.

What is the Open contest? How does that work, can anyone enter?

JP – The Open contest is for the “ Professional” team ropers, those cowboys and cowgirls who make their living roping. It’s highly competitive and attracts the best ropers in the industry. So it’s not for everyone.

Are you aware of the plans the Clovis Rodeo Foundation has on how they’ll use the proceeds, specifically, from the event?

JP – We know that they’ve partnered with community programs within the Clovis, Fresno and surrounding areas for several years with an emphasis on children.

How/When did James Pickens Jr develop a love for roping? What sparked his interest to even try it?

JP – When I moved to LA to pursue my film and TV career I was fortunate enough to meet some wranglers and stuntmen who roped, I’d done some team penning but I like the thought and rush of team roping so I bought a roping horse and started taking lessons from these guys and it’s been a great way to wind down from the pressures of our business

What is it about roping that he enjoys so much?

JP  – The fact that it’s a team event, the way the horses work and the competition.

Why hold the event in Clovis?

JP – A gentleman who was a participant in one of our early events had a relationship with the people at Clovis and thought our roping would be a good fit up there, with there history, the quality of the participants and the time of year. And it’s been a great move for us. Thanks, everyone at Clovis!