Dateline: November 6, 2009. Gonzales, LA (30°13′38″N / 90°55′11″W). Temperature 80 degrees.
The Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Championship was once again held at the Cabela’s Outdoor World. It’s a great venue for a police motorcycle rodeo. This year an estimated 150 riders showed up from multiple states including Florida, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and, of course, Louisiana.
As proclaimed on its water tower, Gonzales is the Jambalaya Capital of the World. Every May, Gonzales hosts a competition for the best jambalaya and the winner is named the Jambalaya King. On Friday, some excellent jambalaya was cooked at the site of the rodeo and it was hailed by all who ate it.
The event continues to support Dream Day Foundation which provides support to St. Jude’s Hospital. It’s a wonderful charity and the rodeo has raised more than $175,000 for St. Jude over the past decade.
As you would expect, the competition was fierce and the challenges were many on the individual skills course, individual slow ride, team slow ride, partner ride and the challenge course. See a slow ride and some of the practice riding on Setcom’s YouTube channel.
The light at the end of the rodeo tunnel leads to the coveted “Mr. Rodeo” award. This award represents the overall excellence of one rider in all of the categories combined. Winning the award and representing his hosting home state was Sergeant David Wallace of the Baton Rouge Police Department. Sgt. Wallace placed first in the expert class ride, fastest clean run, team slow ride, overall teams, and finally, the overall individual ride to claim his title as “Mr. Rodeo” for 2009.
The 2009 Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Rodeo had all the right factors to make it an excellent competition, from the courses, to the excellent hospitality shown by the hosting departments, to the supporting vendors, and of course, the participating motor officers. Everything went smoothly and left everyone looking forward to next year’s events.
Thanks to Sgt. Carl Dabadie of the Baton Rouge Police Department and all of the others who worked so hard to put on this year’s rodeo. It was definitely a success.