The Erath County community proved once again that it is tough — “Tough Enough To Wear Pink.”

Thursday night’s opening performance of the 38th annual Cowboy Capital of the World ProRodeo at Lone Star Arena was dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

In a sea of pink, cancer survivors and those battling the disease were recognized through an event sponsored by Wrangler and in coordination with the American Cancer Society.

Donations were given to go for support of finding a cure for all forms of cancer and helping with those in need within Erath County.

“We didn’t know there was this much pink in Stephenville. We’re proud to see so much support for the American Cancer Society at our first ever ‘Tough Enough To Wear Pink’ event,” stated Christi James, Community Manager of Development for the American Cancer Society.

A special grand entry presentation to recognize cancer survivors and a moment of silence for those who have succumbed to cancer opened the evening’s rodeo.

For every person attending the rodeo in something pink, $1 of their ticket was given to the American Cancer Society along with donations from the crowd.

Rodeo dignitaries Miss Rodeo Texas and Miss Rodeo West Texas were on hand to sign autographs.

Gizmo McCracken provided colorful arena entertainment between events.

“We had a wonderful first night for the rodeo. We hope everyone can come out Friday and Saturday night and see what a great time everyone had,” said Neil Culpepper, Erath County Livestock Association president.

The rodeo opened with the ever popular Mutton Bustin’, bringing all future professional rodeo athletes to test their endurance down the arena aboard the wild and ‘wooly’ sheep.

Bareback riding opened the rodeo with hometown cowboy Matt Crumpler of Stephenville aboard Frontier Rodeo Company’s Flower Child for a score of 69, followed by Judd Tinkle with a 63.

The tie-down calf roping brought both PRCA world champions and NFR qualifiers to town for a tough contest. When the roping stopped, NFR qualifier Blair Burk of Durant, OK had roped an 8.5 to lead the evening’s performance, but left him splitting first and second in the average with Skooter Bell. Local roper Sterling Smith is holding on to sixth place in the average with an 11.5 time roped in Thursday night’s performance. Unfortunately, Erath County ropers Cody Ohl and Cimarron Boardman came up short on Thursday night.

Jake Pollock of Stephenville, the only local steer wrestler in Thursday’s performance, turfed his steer in 5.4 seconds during the "big man’s event."

In the classic event of saddle bronc riding, Billy Turner of Athens, TX drew OKC and turned in a 79 score followed by Seth Seidel with a 74.

At press time, results from remaining events of team roping, barrel racing and bull riding were not available.

Friday and Saturday night’s performances begin at 8 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m. at Lone Star Arena. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under.

The Cowboy Capital of the World ProRodeo is brought to Stephenville by Cude Oil Field Contractors, Inc., Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, and Bruner Dodge.