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Louisiana’s most violent criminals, many serving life sentences for murder, are the stars of the nation’s longest-running prison rodeo that is celebrating its 50th year.

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A guard takes tickets as people enter the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014. In a half-century, the event has grown from a small event for prisoners into a big business that draws thousands of spectators to the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A prison guard, with keys dangling from his belt, stands guard at a locked gate at the arena for the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Louisiana's most violent criminals, many serving life sentences for murder, are the stars of the nation's longest-running prison rodeo which celebrates its 50th year in 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Miss Rodeo Louisiana Hannah Bergeron walks past the inmate section at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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An inmate falls off a horse during the Angola Rodeo, a prison rodeo at Louisiana State Prison in Angola, Louisiana April 21, 2012. The Angola Rodeo was first held in 1965 and features prisoners and staff competing in events ranging from bareback horse riding to Guts and Glory, in which inmates attempt to grab a poker chip that has been tied to the back of a Brahma Bull.

© Jana Asenbrennerova / Reuters/REUTERS

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Sophie Duvall, 6, Dustin Dupont, 14, and Matthew Dupont, 13, watch an event at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Inmates ride a horse in the Buddy Pick-Up event at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Children participate in a comedy event without animals at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A prisoner wearing a crucifix watches visitors arrive for the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A bull rears above a prisoner as he and others try to snatch a poker chip tied to its head in the Guts & Glory event at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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The sun shines through concertina wire on a fence at the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Visitors arrive for the Angola Prison Rodeo in Angola, La., Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Gerald Herbert/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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