LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala – The 40th annual Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo is being held this week.

This year’s grand marshal is Jessie Lynn Nichols, known as America’s singing Cowgirl, and winner of the title 57th Miss Rodeo USA.

Rodeo events began Monday, May 16 with a street dance in downtown Athens.

There are still many rodeo events this week including the Special Needs Rodeo that will take place Friday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the arena.

The main events will be held Friday and Saturday night. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and competitions will begin at 8:00 p.m.

“We’ve got all of the great rodeo events that you expect to see,” said Jessie Lynn Nichols, Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo Grand Marshall.

Those events include bareback bronc riding, calf roping, break-away roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, and bull riding.

“My favorite is going to be the barrel racing. I’m actually a former 8-time MBHA world champion qualifier. So, a little outside the rodeo business, but it’s always amazing. I love watching the cowgirls come in. We’re trusting these horses to come in and they’re reaching speeds of about 35 mph in between barrels. So, there’s a lot of trust that goes into that,” said Jessie Lynn. “But then also another one of my personal favorites is I love the rough stock events, which is going to be the saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and then, of course, the bull riding. It always, you just never know. The animals are so unpredictable so it’s always a great time to see what’s going to happen.”

Tickets can be purchased for $15 on the Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo website. Tickets cost $17 at the gate. Tickets for children (12 and younger) are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate.

For many, going to the rodeo is a night of family fun and entertainment, but Jessie Lynn says rodeo is also about chasing dreams and catching dreams. She says rodeo has set the precedent for her life and her career.

“A lot of people know me as Jessie Lynn, originally Alabama’s Singing Cowgirl, but now it’s America’s Singing Cowgirl. And as a veteran in the country music industry I am one of the only independent artists that I know of that is actually a CMA, ACM and Grammy member that carries voting membership rights on all three associations without having a record deal,” she explained. “I’ve been able to start and own three corporations now for a decade and they are still in operation today. I’m able to independently produce out my music independently, book our shows and it’s just wonderful because both of my passions and dreams which are horses and music have merged into one,” she explained.

Being a dream catcher is part of her platform for Miss Rodeo USA. There is a podcast that can be found on Spotify and Apple podcasts that she produces herself.

“Have some of the biggest and best guests from the country music industry, western world, and entrepreneurs, small business owners, everything in between. It’s been amazing.”