• 70°

The Dart: Local finishes rodeo pen for riding horses

Davenger Griffin practices roping a goat in the rodeo pen that he built on his father’s land on Wilderness Road. Griffin hopes to use the pen as a place for himself to practice rodeo, but also as a gathering place for fellow rodeo enthusiasts in Natchez. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Davenger Griffin practices roping a goat in the rodeo pen that he built on his father’s land on Wilderness Road. Griffin hopes to use the pen as a place for himself to practice rodeo, but also as a gathering place for fellow rodeo enthusiasts in Natchez. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — When Davenger Griffin was looking to move back to Natchez from Nacogdoches, Texas, he was looking for two things — more time with his family and land.

He needed space to build a rodeo pen, which ultimately helped provide more time with his familyWhen The Dart landed on Wilderness Road in Natchez last week, both desires had become reality for Griffin who was in the process of wrangling up several horses with his nephew Kalin Irving, 4.

After gathering up the horses that had wandered into a neighbor’s yard, Griffin took to the dirt of the pen and practiced roping some goats. Irving watched from the side while swinging a rope over his head.

Three weeks prior, Griffin had finished the rodeo pen, but was just starting to use it because of the weather.

“Man, finally we are able to get out here, it has been raining so much,” he said.

Griffin, 27, had been away for seven years traveling all around competing in professional rodeos.

“It’s not about the money, or even about winning, it’s about love,” he said.

Rodeo is a way of life that is deeply ingrained into who Griffin is.

“I only remember riding horses; I don’t remember ever not being able to ride,” he said.

The purpose of the rodeo pen is two-fold for Griffin. He wants to use it as a way to get himself back into rodeo shape and also as a place for people around the Broadmoor neighborhood and other parts of Natchez to come together.

“Rodeo is something fun for people do and watch,” Griffin said. “But it also keeps people out of trouble. That’s what it did for me.”