Saddle up, Ellis County. It’s rodeo time.

The eighth annual David Eggleston Memorial Rodeo will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at the Waxahachie Rodeo Complex.

“Last year we had the most entries ever and look for this year to be even bigger,” said Cole Bailey, one of the event organizers.

T.M. Bucking Bulls and Rodeo Company is the stock contractor for the rodeo this season and Joe Ford has signed on to do the announcing chores. The official rodeo photographer is Tonya Carter. Photos may be ordered at www.tbarcphotography.photoreflect.com.

Ellis County’s longest running and most attended rodeo is the result of three friends coming together to honor the memory of lifelong friend David Eggleston.

On Aug. 2, 2000, Eggleston and pal Justin Phillips were riding bicycles on Howard Road when David was struck by a vehicle. He was transported to Baylor Medical Center at Ellis County by ambulance. From there he was airlifted to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where he died as a result of massive head trauma.

Soon after David’s death, Bailey, Phillips and Jake Fincher, along with family and friends, decided the best way to honor Eggleston’s memory was to put together a memorial rodeo.

“It was wildly successful that first year. We moved it to the summer for the second year and were again amazed at the turnout. Then last year the Eggleston Memorial had a better turnout in entries and in attendance than even the PRCA rodeo held earlier in the summer,” Bailey said. “Now we hold the rodeo on the last weekend of the month of June every year.

“This is a nonprofit rodeo. All the money earned goes back into producing the rodeo for next year and for local scholarships,” Bailey said. “We are proud to announce that the scholarship winners for 2007 are Alisha Pruitt and Daniel Bieber, both of Midlothian.”

The Eggleston Memorial is a family rodeo with lots of action. Winners of the seventh annual rodeo were Ben Winters/Chad Lee in team roping; Charity Lundy in barrel racing; Alex Glider in tie-down roping; Amy Mott in girl’s breakaway; Austin Tuley in mutton busting; Dwayne Hall in chute dogging; Talmadge Langley in bull riding; Codi Robinson in junior barrel racing; and Cody Johnson in steer riding.

Bailey, Fincher and Phillips, along with friends and the Eggleston family, extend an invitation to the community to “come out for a good time and help celebrate the life of David Eggleston.”

E-mail Jim at jim.perry@waxahachiedailylight.com