Inaugural Edward Lee Kinney Memorial Youth Rodeo kicks off Friday night

Inaugural Edward Lee Kinney Memorial Youth Rodeo kicks off Friday night

SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) - The late Edward Lee Kinney was a guiding light to many in the Southwest Louisiana rodeo community. To honor her father's memory, Kelly Izard started the Edward Lee Kinney Memorial Youth Rodeo.

Rodeo announcer Kenny Kyle says it’s fitting given Kinney’s impact in the sport.

“He started rodeoing back in the early 70s and then in the 80s he transformed to a youth movement to let our young kids get involved in rodeo," Rodeo announcer Kenny Kyle said. "Our goal is to have an event every year to help the cowboys and cowgirls.”

The three-day rodeo kicked off Friday night and will help raise scholarship money for seniors. Over 150 kids pre-registered and it's an event Kyle expects to grow each year.

“I look forward to it being probably the biggest event we’ll have throughout the year here," Kyle added. "According to what we have in our pre-entries we have kids coming from Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma. There’s kids coming from all over the country.”

Though he's no longer here, Kyle knows Kinney would be proud of what they're doing to help pave the way for the rodeo stars of tomorrow.

“I’m going to tell you right now this man means so much to so many people," Kyle said of Kinney. "And I can tell you right now, he is smiling down because we’re keeping the Choupique rodeo alive and we’re going to get it bigger and better. Hopefully if we can influence two or three kids like he did two or three hundred kids then we’ll be great.”

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