Imagine Rivon’s Arena packed from fence to fence with just a bit of walking space. Horse trailers, trucks and other vehicles were lined up down FM160. Children running about eating treats, riding horses, and climbing the rodeo arena fence to get a better view. Adults of every age cheered for contestants and family and friends greeted one another with hugs. Trucks were backed up to the arena so families could sit in the beds and enjoy the rodeo while others sat under the covered bleachers. The smell of boudin, etouffee, and a smorgasbord of Cajun and soul food treats clung to the air, wafting from the vendor’s booths. Zydeco and country music played as folks swayed and two-stepped. Since Covid-19 reared its ugly head, so many events have been postponed or cancelled. Unfortunately, one very well attended local event was Our Mother of Mercy Easter Rodeo which has made history during its more than eight decades as the oldest black rodeo in the USA. Last year’s rodeo was cancelled, and none was planned for this year. The folks at the historic catholic church in Ames do an outstanding job, and the community wishes them a full recovery from the blast of Corona. But, the bright spot in this story has a name. His name is Tyler Redmon, Rodeo Promoter and he is only 25 years old.
Tyler Redmon is no stranger to most locals. He grew up in Liberty County. He is the grandson of the late Tony Thibodeaux and Debra Thibodeaux and son of Shenyatta Carry and Alonzo Redmon. In his mother’s words, “He put on one heck of a show for his first Easter Rodeo at Rivon’s Arena in loving memory of Mr. Richard Rivon. I thank God for being with us!” 2T is the name of his brand. The brand is shared with his uncle Tony and pays tribute to his grandfather the late Tony Thibodeaux Sr. The home seat where Tony Thibodeaux Sr. was raised is across Airport Road from Rivon’s. Tyler is the owner of Tyler Redmon Productions. Tyler holds a regular job, but he does much more for one so young. He is a rodeo promoter. Tyler attended school at Hull-Daisetta and is an HD graduate. He played all the usual little league sports and those at school. He has always been a kind young man with a quick beautiful smile who speaks to adults with a, “Yes, Ma’am and Yes, Sir.” He has participated in rodeos his entire life. His mother recalls Tyler having a T-shirt as a child that read, “I was buckin before I was born.” She says he helps everywhere he goes. He has a reputation for helping. Along with some friends he has begun a kids’ event in Buna, Texas. Tyler’s reputation both precedes and follows him as is evidenced by the crowd that packed Rivon’s on Sunday. One rodeo arena owner travelled from Natchez, Mississippi for the event. He said he has been in the business for over 40 years. The rains in Mississippi ruined his arena. He needed some time to repair when he heard that a young cowboy was planning an event. That is the reason that Tyler Redmon Productions had a rodeo this year. “I did not see anyone else having a rodeo. I feel like the older cowboys can’t be here forever, so someone has to step up,” said Redmon.
As she spoke about preparations for the rodeo, his mother was moved to tears. Grandmother Debra raised her hands in praise exclaiming, “Thank You, God!” It was clear to see that this family faced more than a few obstacles planning this event. Tyler himself gives first and ultimate credit for the success of this event to God. Redmon thanks all his sponsors. “I want to thank all my workers. Thanks to those working the rodeo and working outside of the rodeo. I want to thank my secretaries for helping as well. I want to thank all the cowboys and cowgirls that came to support me. This is only the beginning. Y’all stay tuned. I thank all my stock contractors for bringing the stock and bullfighters as well. I especially thank all my family, friends, and fans that came out. Without all of you this event would not have been as large as it was. I thank everyone.” Sponsors for the rodeo included King Street Crawfish Co., Glamours Kreations, 2T, Timeless Hat Co., Qsc Saddlery, TNJ Detail Shop, RC Ranch, and Qualified Saddle Cleaning. Tyler Redmon Productions is grateful to Vernita Rivon.