Cullman County Sheriffs Special Needs Rodeo 2017

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Community, Images, Interviews, People, Students, Videos

IMAGES Cullman Kiwanis Club Pancake Day 2017
Cullman County Sheriffs Special Needs Rodeo 2017

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office kicked off their 2017 Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo experience on Thursday morning with right at 1,300 special needs children from across Cullman County in attendance.

Special needs students from County, City, private and church schools plus representatives from Cullman County Child Development Center and clients from the Margaret Jean Jones Center arrived around 9 am at the Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center.

Approximately, 400 teachers and volunteers along with 40 deputies and command staff were also on scene.

The students were entertained – non-stop – by Dusty the rodeo clown. The children also got the opportunity to participate in traditional competitive rodeo events such as barrel racing, bronco riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and team roping.

The children also got to interact with real-life cowboys/cowgirls.

For many, the highlight of the special needs rodeo was the hayrides conducted inside and outside the arena:

Sheriff’s deputies and other staff members assisted students who required guidance entering and exiting the hay trailers and the red dirt arena floor.

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry was often the central figure in many aspects of the event:

“Our special needs version of the Jimmy Arrington Memorial Rodeo is at the heart of what this event is about. With well over one thousand children and at least 400 or so volunteers and teachers, the event has grown into something EVERYONE looks forward to attending.


When you see a few deputies with tears in their eyes, you know everyone is emotionally touched in a very positive way. This Rodeo is often the highlight of many of these kid’s year. Many of these children would never experience a rodeo if this Sheriff’s Office didn’t fully support it. Seeing the joy, wonder, and excitement in these special needs kids faces is huge.”

We talk to Sheriff Gentry in this interview immediately following his participation in the stick Pony race:

Proceeds from the rodeo go toward the local city and county Cullman schools with special needs students.

Last year’s rodeo, netted $500 each to 31 Cullman area schools and established a $5,000 scholarship to pay for one year at Wallace State Community College for two students studying criminal justice.

Proceeds also fund events like the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy, firearms training classes and purchasing tablet computers for all 11 school resource officers.

The sheriff’s rodeo began in 1998 under the direction of former Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden. The late Jimmy Arrington was a sheriff’s investigator with 27-years invested in the department. Arrington was seminal in starting and then directing the rodeo. Arrington died in 2006 from leukemia, the Sheriff’s Office named this rodeo in honor his memory.

Friday & Saturday: Professional, Adult Rodeo Action

You’ve seen the fliers, signs, raffle tickets, and online giveaways on Cullman Today for the last few weeks … and the time has finally come. This weekend is the 2017 Cullman County Sheriffs Office Jimmy Arrington Memorial RODEO.

Rodeo cowboys from the famous 4L & Diamond S rodeo circuits will be kicking off their 2017 season in Cullman at this Event.

Remember: This rodeo will be held indoors inside a heated arena … weather will not be a factor!


Friday, December 8th & Saturday, December 9th
Gates Open at 5:30 pm
Cullman County Agriculture Trade Center
17645 US Highway 31, Cullman, AL

In addition to the top flight rodeo action, there will be a Ladies Envelope Scramble (this is where ladies from the audience will have the opportunity to search for prizes in an envelope hidden somewhere within the arena).

There will also be an entertaining Little Cowpoke Gold Rush (this is sponsored by Gold Rush Jewelers providing opportunities to win jewelry).

To learn more, please see:

Cullman County Sheriffs Special Needs Rodeo 2017

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Cullman Agricultural Trade Center

Cullman County Sheriffs Special Needs Rodeo 2017

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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