CCSO gearing up for annual rodeo

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shane Chambers gives a wagonful of attendees a ride at the 2018’s special needs rodeo at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The annual Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo, including the special needs rodeo, is right around the corner— and it’s an event the community looks forward to every year. 

This year’s special needs rodeo will take place Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center.  

The special needs rodeo is for the more than 1,000 special needs children who attend Cullman County area schools, the Margaret Jean Jones Center and the Cullman County Child Development Center. 

“Every school in Cullman County sends their students with special needs to experience and take part in a real rodeo,” Sheriff Matt Gentry said. “There will be barrel racing, roping and bull riding. The students are then invited down to the arena floor to take part in various activities, including stick-horse racing and hayrides.” 

This will be Gentry’s eighth year hosting the special needs rodeo, a tradition he has carried on from previous administrations. 

“It is an event that participants, volunteers and deputies look forward to all year long,” Gentry said. “It is another way the sheriff’s office can give back to the community. Not only does the rodeo allow the opportunity to support the special needs programs financially, it also brings everyone together to enjoy a very special event.” 

To volunteer or sponsor the special needs rodeo, contact Deputy Kevin Folds at  

“The special needs rodeo is one of my absolute favorite events each and every year,” Gentry said. “It means so much to the kids, parents, volunteers and especially the staff. It truly is the heartbeat of the sheriff’s office. It is so wonderful to be with the children and see the smiles on their faces and the joy in their hearts.”  

The Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo will kick off following the special needs rodeo. Look for more details soon. For more information, contact the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.