Cold weather affects Dixie National attendance - - Jackson, MS

Cold weather affects Dixie National attendance

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By Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Dixie National Rodeo and Live Stock Show draws hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls from all across the country and beyond.

"When you love horses and everything surrounding them then you want to be right there, right in the middle of it," said Peggy Alexander, a horse exhibitor.

Alexander and her family have attended the Dixie National for the last 15 years, but this weekend could be the smallest crowd they've ever seen at an event.

"It's the driving that has really stopped a lot of people from coming into Mississippi," said Alexander.  She was talking about travel on the icy roads.  Temperatures in central Mississippi dipped below freezing for five days in a row.  Thursday evening, ice accumulation caused a slippery commute for drivers.

"Our numbers are really down because people couldn't get in here like they would normally come.  We talked to people who came in from Georgia who said they sat in Meridian for six hours trying to get over" said horse exhibitor Betty Bermond of Attala County.

Betty and Greg Bermond were showing their painting horses and staying on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.

"It's great.  Heat, air, we cook out, eat out on the grounds.  It's just a great time.  We have a really good time with it," said Betty Bermond.

They stay warm in their state of the art trailer, but the cold temperature does affect the horses.

 "It does affect them.  You have to work a little harder to prepare them and stuff like that. They're athletes. S o you just have to work them a little harder to get them ready to do their job," said Greg Bermond.

The Coliseum and Equine Center are heated and provide plenty of seating.  The Dixie National Rodeo and Live Stock Show runs through February 17th.

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