Rhett Lathan memorial rodeo event this Saturday in Cleveland

Rhett Lathan

The Rhett Lathan Memorial Scholarship Calf Roping event is moving to Cleveland and will be held this Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Stancil Exposition Center.

In its tenth year, the memorial rodeo event is in memory of Rhett Lathan, whose life was cut short at the age of 16 when he was fatally shot in 2012 while visiting the home of an acquaintance.

“Rhett was a big baseball player and enjoyed rodeo events. Those were his two passions,” said his father, Brian.

Brian started the rodeo event, as well as a scholarship fund, to honor and remember Rhett. Over the last 10 years, the organization has awarded around $30,000 in scholarships per year to students at Cleveland, Tarkington, Shepherd, Big Sandy, Leggett, Goodrich, Coldspring and Livingston high schools. The scholarship fund also donates to the Texas High School Rodeo Association.

“We also give about $2,000 a year to the children of Houston firefighters,” said Brian, who works as a Houston fireman.

The roping event is one of three major fundraising events held by the scholarship foundation. Each May, a team roping event is held at the J Bar Ranch in Tarkington and each October, there is a golf tournament, held in recent years at Oakhurst Country Club in Kingwood.

“The calf roping event has previously been held in Navasota. It’s a big deal. We invite the top kids to compete and open it to the world for anyone who wants to participate. All proceeds, including a silent auction during the event, go toward scholarships,” said Brian.

For roping enthusiasts interested in competing, there are several categories – 12 and under boys and girls breakaway, 15 and under tiedown, 19 and under tiedown, open tiedown and open breakaway. The entry fee is $250 for the 12 and under category, and $500 for all other categories. The 12 and under groups will start competing at 9 a.m. The 15 and under and 19 and under groups will start competing at noon. The open ladies breakaway and open tiedown contestants will start competing at 7 p.m.

If there are more than 50 ropers, shootout rounds will take the top 10 and eliminate the two slowest times each round. You must get a time to advance. You can enter all roping events twice but you must pre-register by calling Brian Lathan at 936-328-6191. Walk-ups will pay an additional $25 fee.

If you want to come watch the event, enjoy a snack from the concession stand or bid on items in the silent auction, the entry fee is $10 for ages 9 and older. Children 8 and under are free.

Items are still needed for the silent auction, call Lathan at the number above to make arrangements for donations.

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