Grigsby White elected president of SMRA


A Message from the President

First, let me thank you for your vote of confidence in electing me President for 2007. It’s going to be a lot of work but I’m ready to face the challenge. SMRA has a lot on its plate for 2007 and we need to carry the momentum and excitement that was generated by October’s convention forward into the New Year. There will be lots of opportunities for members to participate in fundraising events and membership drives including Road Trips, Winter Roundup, the spring Trail Blaze and the Mr. Bud Light Nashville 2008 competition.

Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association will continue to branch out and include more communities in Kentucky and Tennessee seeking active members throughout the region to work toward hosting a rodeo while continuing to raise much-needed funds for our charity partners.

We’ll be seeking additional sponsors outside of the Middle Tennessee area and ask that any member with an idea step forward and speak up.

I look forward to working with, and learning from, all of the leaders in IGRA and sharing what I learn with as many people as possible to help educate and excite people about gay rodeo.

Grigsby White, President
Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association  

SMRA Selects Charity Partners for 2007
Annual donations to be distributed among four 501c(3) charities

At its General Membership meeting on January 6, 2007, the members of Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association were provided the opportunity to listen to presentations from several potential charity partners. The candidates were selected by SMRA’s ad hoc Charity Committee and were invited to address the General Membership to explain the particulars of their organizations.

The Charity Committee recommended that membership choose one charity with each of the following focuses: Animal Health & Welfare, Children’s Health & Welfare, Community Support, and HIV/AIDS Education & Support. After carefully considering their choices, the members voted to name the following organizations as Charity Partners for 2007:

Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association is working to produce several events in 2007 to raise funds for its Charity Partners.

Special thanks to Jack Marshall and the AdHoc Charity Committee for researching potential Charity Partners and narrowing the selection of nominations for presentation to general membership.  

Cowboy Happy Hour at DeVils Jungle 
A Pre-New Yearl’s Celebration

On December 27, 2006, several SMRA members gathered at DeVil’s Jungle on Second Avenue in Nashville for a Cowboy Happy Hour. Angelica and her staff made the cowboys feel welcome with excellent service and a special "snack bar" that really hit the spot after a long day at the office.

A big "THANK YOU" to Angelica, Tim, Lee and everyone else at DeVil’s Jungle for a great evening.

Watch for announcements about future Cowboy Happy Hours via email, in this newsletter, or at These evenings are a great way for SMRA’s members to support the clubs that support them! And they’re LOTS OF FUN!

If you would like to host a Cowboy Happy Hour, or know of someone that would, please send an email to [email protected] and someone from the Membership Committee will be glad to help you make it happen!  

Knoxville Road Trip! – January 20, 2007
Kurt’s Bar and Club XYZ to Host 

Join the SMRA gang for a Road Trip to Knoxville, Tennessee! A caravan will leave Nashville at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and drive to Knoxville where we’ll check into a reasonably priced motel and get ready to party at two of the local clubs … Kurt’s Bar and Club XYZ! The clubs are really looking forward to our visit and they have lots of special things planned! Mr. SMRA 2007, Justin James, will be joining the cast at Club XYZ for a special show!  

Last year’s Road Trip was a big success. Everyone had a great time! So DON’T MISS OUT on this fun get- away!

If you’d like more information about the Road Trip, the motel accomodations, or if you need a ride or a roommate, send an email to Knoxville Road Trip.

This event is a membership drive and non- members are encouraged to join us! So bring your friends… they won’t be disappointed!  

Gay Ol’ Opry III – January 28, 2007
An All-Country Fundraiser!III 

Please mark your calendars and join us at the Chute Complex beginning at 9 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2007 for SMRA’s third "Gay Ol’ Opry" night! This all- country show is scheduled to include Dominique Alexander, James Allen Clark, Angelica DeVil, Kitty Kincaid, Gary Jackson, Justin James, Tina Louise, Steve Mogck, Bianca Page, Victoria Parker, Stephanie Wells, and more. As close to the Grand Old Opry as you can get without being there!  

Winter Round-Up 2007
February 2-3, 2007 – Two Nights … Two Clubs! A Winter Tradition Continues!

February 2, 2007 – Winter Round-Up 2007
Night One of SMRA’s Winter Rodeo Fundraiser at Lucky’s Garage!

Winter Round-Up is an SMRA tradition! Two Nights, Two Clubs! Beginning at 8:00 p.m., join the crowd at Lucky’s Garage and enjoy SMRA’s favorite comedienne, Donna Carter, as she performs LIVE. You don’t want to miss the “Shirt-Off-A-Cowboy’s- Back” Auction where you can bid on the clothes that a model is wearing and buy the shirt off his back! Other Live Performances are in the works that are sure to amaze and entertain you! The $5.00 cover charge will benefit the Charity Partners of Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association.

February 3, 2007 – Winter Round-Up 2007
Night Two of SMRA’s Winter Rodeo Fundraiser at the Chute Complex!

Night Two, Club Two! The winter fun continues at the Chute Complex with a silent auction, live performances, and other special activities! At 8:00 p.m., country line dance lessons will begin and party- goers can enjoy Bud Light on draft from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. The $5.00 cover charge will benefit the Charity Partners of Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association.

Fundraising Committee Update

Holy Cowboys and Cowgirls … do we have a big year ahead of us! Convention was nothing compared to what we are trying to do this year. Well, with the Mr. Bud Light Competition expanding to nine bars, Pride events, working with the Membership Committee on numerous events, Play Days, Trail Blazes, etc, etc! Whew…my head is spinning! But I tell you what else…my excitement level has just hit the roof! Things are out of this world for SMRA right now! But we could use all ya’ll’s help! We have a strong Fundraising Committee of about seven or so but we sure could use more. Just think of the things we could do! SMRA is only limited by what it does based on membership activity! Don’t forget that!

So, check out our website! Pitch in where you can! I’m looking forward to a very challenging and record- breaking fundraising year. Yes, even without convention! If we want a rodeo, this is what we’ve got to do! If you have any questions about how to help the Fundraising Committee or to be more active in SMRA in any way, please don’t be afraid to contact me at [email protected] or call me.

Justin James
Mr. SMRA 2007
Fundraising Chair 

Cowboy of the Month
Tim Thomas – Vonore, Tennessee

Tim Thomas grew up in Athens, Tennessee. Like any good farm kid, Tim participated in 4-H and FFA in High School. Tim has worked hard and was fortunate to have served on several State and National winning judging teams. By his senior year in High School Tim had won a National award of his own. Like most everyone there who showed livestock (be it beef or dairy cattle, hogs, or horses), Tim grew up showing Registered Beef Cattle and commercial steers and heifers. But he always had horses to ride at home.

January’s Cowboy of the Month attended UT-Knoxville (He says “GO VOLS!!”) earning a BS in Industrial Engineering. After graduation he went to work for Panasonic in Fujisawa, Japan, but after three years without cows or horses he was ready to come home. Tim then found a job with Staley’s (now known as Tate and Lyle) who you might know as the Splenda people, and worked there until three years ago. Tim had always said that he wanted to quit and “just farm” at age forty, however, by this time he had again become involved in showing horses and was offered a position as Equestrian Center Director at Rarity Bay in Vonore, Tennessee just outside of Knoxville. Ultimately, Tim left behind a great salary and a career in engineering to follow his dream. Now, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a facility that houses forty-six horses, including lessons, planning of equestrian shows and marketing the facility. Yet, Tim wouldn’t change it for anything.

Currently, Tim owns six horses: three mares, a weanling stud colt (“if anyone wants a jumper”) a gelding named Scotch-N-Nonsense aka Trigger whom many may have met or seen in a picture. Trigger has done quiet well, finishing sixth in the world as a two-year-old in open halter, and is becoming quite the barrel- and all-around cattle- horse. Tim and Trigger will be representing SMRA by competing this summer at IGRA rodeos. Additionally, along with his dad, Tim runs a cow/calf operation. They have ninety-six “momma cows” that are mostly Simmental x Angus cross cows. Tim says “It’s a great way to share something with family. Gives dad and me lots of time to just talk and share.”

Tim is really excited to be a part of Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association as he’s met some great friends, even a “big brother” to help complete his family, and he looks forward to meeting those members that he has not yet met and getting to know everyone.

Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association is proud to have this cowboy on its roster!

SMRA Bylaws Education
Did you know? …

Each Standing Committee may give an oral and written report to the Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting, and are required, pending activity, to give an oral report at the general membership meeting.

CLICK HERE if you would like to print a copy of SMRA’s current Bylaws. Questions or comments concerning SMRA Bylaws and Guidelines can be directed to the Bylaws Chair at [email protected] 

Featured Rodeo Event …
Calf Roping on Foot

This is the second step in a roper’s career. Most beginning ropers practice on fence posts or other stationary objects and then move in to the arena with a live animal. The contestant stands in the roping box and when the calf is released, attempts to throw the loop over the calf’s head. Once the loop passes over the calf’s head, the contestant must pull up the slack in the rope.