story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
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Meet the Member Oubre Rodeo Company
story by Lily Weinacht
Bubba Oubre planted the rodeo seed amongst his family roots in the late 1960s, and the lifestyle now spans three generations and 25 years of rodeo production through Oubre Rodeo Company.
The 64-year-old from LaGrange, Ga., grew up riding horses and working cattle alongside his dad, and by 17, had his hand in a bull rope. “I rode bulls for ten years and steer wrestled for another ten,” says Bubba, the ACA’s bull riding champion in 1976 and bronc riding champion in 1977. “I went to their finals five times in the steer wrestling, but I never did travel enough to pro rodeo. Back then, you had to go to about 100 rodeos to make the finals, and you could shake a bush and 15 bull riders would fall out, and each one could really ride! But I had a lot of success in the bull riding here in the southeast, so I chose to stay here.”
When Bubba decided to quit rodeoing in 1990, the retirement only took him a few feet out of the arena and into production when he started Oubre Rodeo Company. Many of the rodeos the company first produced are still on its schedule some 20 years later, including Rockmart, Ga., Marietta, Ga., and Newnan, Ga. They’ve also put on rodeos as far as Florida, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. “I take a lot of pride in the rodeos we have. All through the ‘90s and early 2000s we put on 15 – 20 rodeos a year, and now we have about ten,” Bubba explains. “I have two sons who help out, Matt and Charlie, so it’s a family affair. We have a lot of good rodeos, and everybody who works for me is like family and they’ve been with us a long time. That’s the way we like it, and that’s what keeps things going.”
Oubre Rodeo Company produced rodeos for the ACA through the 1990s and early 2000s before moving to the IPRA, and recently, sanctioning with the SPRA. “It’s a great rodeo association, and we get a lot of local people who want to rodeo but don’t necessarily want to travel to qualify for the IFR. The SPRA has a really good finals, and we send a lot of our horses and bulls there every year, plus they co-sanction with the IPRA, so that helps us out a lot.”
The company’s horse, 2D7, or Charlie’s Pet, won 2015 SPRA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year. “She belongs to my son Charlie, and she’s the most aggravating thing in the world to me, but she loves him, and she’s a nice mare,” Bubba says with a laugh. “The guys really like to get on her, and she’s good about getting them first or second every time. I bought her from Bob Barnes Rodeo Company in Iowa, and another one I’m looking to win IPRA Bareback Horse of the Year is 356, Iron Mountain. He’s made six trips to the IFR and won five rounds.” Bubba owns all his broncs, but leases the bucking bulls and timed event cattle. “We put on eight events at every rodeo – we’re just as much timed event oriented as roughstock. That just goes with the territory, especially since Matt’s a steer wrestler and Charlie’s ridden bareback horses.”
Charlie is also a horseshoer, while Matt qualified twice for the IFR, but trimmed down his time on the rodeo trail to work as a fireman and raise his two children, Taylor (four) and Emma Grace (seven months) with his wife, Jamie. “They live right across the woods from us, and my wife, Becky, and I really enjoy fishing, but being with family is our main thing.” Becky was a rodeo secretary for many years and hauled Matt to high school rodeos, along with the IFYR in Shawnee, Okla. Today, she works at the county court house in child support, while Bubba is an animal control officer for the True County Marshall’s office. He was a regular deputy on the road until two years ago, and continues to work five days a week while running the rodeo company.
“In another year, we’d like to retire and sit around the grandkids – and rodeo!” says Bubba. “We want to continue putting on top quality rodeos that people want to come to, because that’s the whole purpose. We’re third generation rodeo people ourselves, and now my friends’ grandkids are rodeoing with my grandkids. It’s not a business, it’s a way of life, and it’s a lifetime achievement to be able to do what you love!”