Waynesville’s weekly Fox Hollow Rodeo
By Alyssa Reck
Photo: Fox Hollow Rodeo eventss include bull riding, muttin busting, barrel racing and bull poker; photo: Bill Franz
Come one and all to see, experience and delight in one of the last remaining great American traditions. It’s an event requiring speed, strength and a little durability. Beginning nearly 20 years ago, Fox Hollow Rodeo, located just outside of Waynesville, invites spectators of all ages to share in the thrill of bull riding, muttin busting, barrel racing, bull poker and so much more, and it happens every week, all year round.
“The more you learn about rodeo, the more impressive it is and the more you appreciate it,” Fox Hollow owner Rod Frisby said. “On top of that, this is our big summer.”
Fox Hollow has some big surprises up its sleeve, including some new events, which you will have to see to believe.
Fun for the kids
“Hang on to him,” the announcer yells. “Hang on, little cowboy.”
A sheep races past the stands with a young boy seated on its back, running straight toward some adults waiting to catch them both. One of Fox Hollows growing events is “muttin busting,” which allows kids the chance to participate in a rodeo event.
“It’s a big deal for these kids,” Frisby said. “It gets them acclimated.”
Sometimes the little cowboys and girls fall off, but no worries – helmets or cowboy hats are required. “Some of our kid participants grow up around the rodeo scene,” Frisby said. “But even those that don’t can still be involved.”
Fox Hollow averages about 30 youth participants each Saturday night in the muttin busting event, the jr. barrel-racing and calf-riding events.
While the jr. barrel-racing and calf-riding events are for the older youths, kids are invited to give it a try. Fox Hollow Rodeo is family-oriented, and those who wish not to participate in the rodeo events can certainly participate during the intermission.
With a DJ, old-fashioned line dancing and pony rides, there is something for everyone at Fox Hollow. Even the snack bar might entice some to visit and taste its famous chili cheese fries or homemade chili. Can you say “yum”?
Fun for the adults
Once the rodeo moves outdoors, the barrel-racing event is added to the event line up, averaging nearly 20 riders and their horses.
“It’s the working man’s sport,” professional barrel racer Sabrina Frye said. “It takes time and dedication every single day.”
While Frye regularly participates in the barrel-racing event with her horses, she said the animals at Fox Hollow are as athletic and have as great a drive to win as the participants.
“They do it because they love it,” Fry said. “It’s their job.”
One of the new events taking place over the summer is a barrel-racing clinic at Fox Hollow, which will be taught by Frye herself.
“It’s so much more fun when you know what you are doing,” Frye said.
Frye will be teaching the fundamentals, correcting form and barrel approach and running drills. Though Fox Hollow does not provide horses for the barrel racers, it keeps and raises some bulls on the property for the calf and bull riding events.
A 2,000 pound bull that wants nothing more than to unseat its rider bucks with precision. The crowd cheers for the plaid-shirted cowboy, who refuses to fall off, holding his hand high into the air.
“Rodeo bulls are so smart and they love what they do,” Frisby said. “Some want you to pet and scratch them, but once in the arena they know their job.”
The bull continues on its rampage, while the rodeo clowns prepare to assist the rider at a moments notice. The buzzer sounds and the crowd holds its breath as the cowboy falls to the ground. The cowboy made the 8 second mark, giving him an extra 100 points for his overall score.
The bull saunters back towards the gates, faking another run to send cowboys and clowns up onto the railings, before walking out of view. Toward the end of the night, points are totaled and cash prizes are handed out. For those wishing to push the bar, they can compete for the Championship Series belt buckle awarded to the champion and reserve champion top scorers in the Jackpot and Novice Division bull-riding events.
While Fox Hollow is only open every Saturday night, spectators and participants can be sure whether it’s rain or shine, nothing will stop the show.
Recently adding nearly 1,200 seats, Fox Hollow features both indoor and outdoor arenas to accommodate the weather.
“People said it wouldn’t happen every Saturday, but we do it,” Frisby said.
Without the worry of getting rained out, when the gates open at 6 p.m., the Fox Hollow Rodeo begins.
Fox Hollow Rodeo presents its year-round rodeo every Saturday night starting at 6 p.m. at 1909 East State Route 73 in Waynesville. Tickets are $4 for children (ages 6-12) and $8 for adults. For more information, please call 513.668.4081 or 513.317.8725 or visit foxhollowrodeo.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Alyssa Reck at AlyssaReck@DaytonCityPaper.com.