• 73°

Annual sheriff’s rodeo to honor late deputy

NATCHEZ — The former Adams County Sheriff and Deputies’ Rodeo has been renamed this year in memory of Deputy Wayne Rabb, 66, who died in August, officials said.

Robbie and Dusty Thomas of TNT Rodeo Company unveiled the new name of the event, “Wayne Rabb Memorial Rodeo,” to deputies and to Rabb’s family Tuesday at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

“It has been 10 years since this even has started,” Robbie said. “When Wayne first called me and said he wanted to do a rodeo here, I told him … it wasn’t going to work. … Then he asked me to come meet with the sheriff’s department. … When I pulled up and got out of the truck, the first person I saw was Wayne with a big hat and a big grin. We became friends.”

Robbie said the Rodeo had changed a lot since that first year, and each time it became better and better.

“This is a milestone for us because it is our tenth year and also because we lost one of the rocks and founders of the rodeo. We want to make sure that he is always a part of it,” Robbie said.

In addition to the new name, Robbie said Rabb would also be remembered with a memorial and flagpole near the rodeo location at the William Johnson Arena, 100 Foster Mound Road.

Traditionally, the posters for the rodeo are brightly colored to draw attention to the event Dusty said. However, the poster was redesigned for this year only to show a large photo of Rabb in uniform.

The poster also features a new logo with a cross and scripture — “Blessed are the peacemakers” — that would be depicted on every rodeo poster in the years to come, Dusty said.

“I can’t tell you how much this means to us,” said Rabb’s son, Bryan. “We know how much time he put into this event and how much it meant to him. He loved Western culture and anything to do with that lifestyle his whole life, and having it named for him is a huge honor.”

The rodeo takes place at 7:30 p.m. May 15 and 16.