Sylvester cowboy riding high on PRCA circuit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sylvester cowboy riding high on PRCA circuit

Brad Culpepper Brad Culpepper

May 27, 2004

Sylvester- Waylon and Willie are famous for their song "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

Well, Sylvester's Brad Culpepper did grow up to be a cowboy, in fact he is one of the top cowboys on the professional rodeo circuit.

If there is a rodeo happening anywhere in the 48 states, chances are you will see Sylvester's Brad Culpepper riding on a horse with a rope twirling in his hands.

Brad Culpepper said "As a hobby, I started out when I was 11 years old and it developed into a career. It is still a hobby but it is a way I make my living."

Brad Culpepper has made a pretty good living on the professional rodeo circuit for almost a decade. Culpepper is the heeler in the team roping competition.

For the last two years he was teamed with Mississippi's Frank Graves.

The pair were in first in the standings much of the winter season but have dropped to third heading into the summer schedule.

The goal is to qualify for the national finals in Las Vegas in late November.

Culpepper said "We want to stay in the top five. Frank, he is a big hitter at those finals and he always does good out there. So if you can get to the finals in the top five, you have a chance at the world title."

Much like it was for the cowboys on the cattle drives in the 19th century, life on the road is difficult.

Especially, for a south Georgia cowboy who has to drive cross-country to attend the major rodeos.

Culpepper said "It is the time away from your family. Everybody gets older you feel like you are missing more at home. I am not one of those kind of people who can put everything behind me and leave. I kinda miss my family and miss my friends around home. Just like to be back here around Sylvester."

There are rodeos around Sylvester and when his schedule permits Brad will enter as many in the southeast as he can as his sport continues to grow thanks to the increasing exposure on television.

posted at 3:00pm by roberth@walb.com