Greeley Stampede Kids Rodeo
Most area rodeos have some sort of event for kids. It is usually mutton busting or calf riding held during a break in the action of the regular performance. The Greeley Stampede holds a Mutton Busting Contest at every performance, but they take it one step farther by kicking off the 11 days of the World’s Largest 4th of July Rodeo & Western Celebration with a full-blown kid’s rodeo.
This has to be the most photographed event at the Stampede. Every year, there are photographers and writers from every newspaper and publication in the area. Channel 9 covers the event for Denver TV and Channel 5 from Cheyenne is there for the Wyoming viewing area. Also, every family brings at least one camera.
There are always lots of entries and plenty of fans and wildly cheering family members in the stands. Events range from Boot Scramble, Ribbon Untying, and Stick Horse Racing for the youngest kids to Senior Barrel Racing and Bull Riding for the older kids.
The arena is divided into three sections and there is something going on in each of them throughout the evening. It can sometimes be a little confusing to keep up with, but it makes the event move along swiftly. Considering the huge number of contestants, it is a necessity.
Probably the most popular event is Mutton Busting. There were almost 100 entries in the Recreational Mutton Busting and over 60 in the Competitive Mutton Busting. The difference between the two is that in Recreational Mutton Busting the contestant grabs hold of the sheep with both hands, leans forward, closes their eyes, and hangs on. In the Competitive Mutton Busting the rider uses a ‘sheep rope’, sits upright, uses one hand, and is scored on form as well as time.
The horse riders were not left out. There was goat tying, junior and senior pole bending, and junior and senior barrel racing. There was an outstanding entry field for all of these events and they were hotly contested, much to the delight of cheering family and friends.
The night finished up with the Junior Bull Riding. Some of the top riders from the PTBR Young Guns and the Mountain States Young Guns associations were on hand along with some first timers in the Calf and Steer Riding. They competed in six age groups ranging from Mutton Busting to Senior Bull Riding.
Kevin Rich and the Wild West Cattle Company have put this event on for many years. They always bring good stock and provide good cowboy protection people for the safety of the contestants.
The Kid’s Rodeo was a huge success and a fitting kick-off for the great Pro Rodeo that was to follow during the Greeley Stampede. Hats off to Kevin Rich, the sponsors, the many volunteers, and the Greeley Stampede, for putting on this special annual event for the kids in this area.