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David Kirkman Memorial Bull Riding


By Morganna Fisher, MA Fisher photography

On October 26, 2019, the Covered K Arena in Maben, Mississippi welcomed bull riders and spectators to the 6th annual David Kirkman Memorial Bull Riding. A drizzling rain did not dampen the spirits of community, camaraderie, or competition. David Kirkman, founder of the Covered K Arena, was a former Bull Rider, Bull Fighter, and Funny Man before devoting his time to teaching young cowboys how to ride bulls. 

According to his son Justin Kirkman, his dad loved bulls and bull riding, but a tragic event at a trail ride in Vaden, Mississippi changed his dad’s life. That night at the annual rodeo, hosted along with the trail ride, a young boy climbed on the back of a bull. The problem was he had never ridden a bull before. He came out of the chute, and got hung up. Sadly, the boy died from the injuries he sustained. After that, David stopped being the Funny Man in the Can and started teaching young cowboys at a bull riding school at the Covered K. Justin said that his dad was all about helping kids learn to love bulls and bull riding, just as he did.

Sadly, David was killed in a semi-truck wreck in Arcola, Mississippi on August 13, 2012. The family knew they had to carry on David’s legacy of helping kids, and so the David Kirkman Memorial Bull Riding was started on Halloween weekend 2013. Every year the rodeo raises funds to provide a scholarship to help a deserving student from East Webster High School of Maben, Mississippi, a school of deep importance to the Kirkman Family.

There is always Trick or Treating with the bull riders, a costume contest for the kids, and a chance to ride the mechanical bull. This year, Dusty Meyers brought his bull “Knuckle Head” for the kids to sit on and have their picture taken with.

There was yet another reason to celebrate at the rodeo, as local Funny Man in the Can – “Super Pat Man” – Pat Hughes was able to be there, still recovering after a tragic accident in August nearly cost him his life. A true miracle, Pat Hughes has an amazing story of faith, recovery, and support from the family unit known as Rodeo. Read more of his story on Heather Hughes’ facebook page.

There was a Corn Hole Tournament this year with proceeds going to Pat and his family. Funnymen Dusty Meyers and Pat Hughes made it to 4th place out of 14 teams! Youth winners were Miles Stidham and Colton Kirkman. Adult winners were Brad Meyers and Joey Dalton. The event raised over $4,000, which was divided between the Scholarship fund and Pat Hughes.

On to the main attraction: there were two rounds of bull riding action to get to the short go. Riders were challenged by bulls from Buck Wild Bucking Stock, Chad Lovern and Sheldon Isom, and the bulls ruled the night. The winner of the Jr. Bulls was Mathiston’s Wyatt Roberson with a 76-point ride. Casey Roberts of Munford, Alabama won the Sr. Bulls with an 83-point ride.

Covered K Arena and the Kirkman Family would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the David Kirkman Memorial Bull Ride, especially all the sponsors and the volunteers. Find more information about this event and others at the Covered K Arena on facebook.

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