Little Britches Rodeo heads for Greeley this year | TheFencePost.com

Little Britches Rodeo heads for Greeley this year

Suzi Jones
Greeley, Colo.

On October 4th & 5th, 2008, the Greeley Elks Lodge #809 will once again sponsor the Second Annual Little Britches Rodeo in Greeley at Island Grove Park, 501 N. 14th Avenue. Last year, more than 65 contestants and their families from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas attended the event. The Greeley Elks hope to have over 100 contestants at this year’s Little Britches Rodeo. All contestants are girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 18. They compete in two age groups: Juniors 8 – 13 and Seniors 14 – 18.

What is Little Britches and where did it start?

In 1952, a group of rodeo enthusiasts held the first of what would become an annual rodeo for kids. The event – dubbed the Little Britches Rodeo – was held at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Littleton, Colo., and was a smashing success.

Little Britches continued as a single annual event until 1961, when a national convention was held in Denver. Representatives were on hand from several states and the meetings ended with a national youth rodeo association being established with its headquarters in Denver.

Since that time, the National Little Britches Rodeo Association has grown. The Association has experienced hard times, but the overall goals and standards have never been compromised. The NLBRA continues to serve the interests of the Western-minded youth of the nation. According to its mission statement, “It is a non-profit venture to build sound, healthy minds and bodies – to develop character, self-reliance and good sportsmanship through competition in the great sport of rodeo.” Each year some 2,000 kids from 24 states compete in more than 275 Little Britches rodeos.

From the beginning, NLBRA organizers have been committed to keeping the cost to contestants at an absolute minimum. Contestants compete for prizes such as saddles, buckles, gift certificates and most importantly, college scholarships. This keeps the cost of competition down and allows kids, even those on a limited budget, to participate.

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The level of competition at NLBRA events is second to none. Many collegiate rodeo athletes and a number of professionals competed in Little Britches events in their younger days. Some rodeo legends that began honing their skills as youngsters in the Little Britches are: Butch and Rope Myers, Kristie Peterson, Cody DeMoss, Tim Segelke, Royce Ford, Marlene McRae, Cimmaron Gerke, Randy Suhn, K.C. Jones and Ty Murray.

For information about the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, or to become a member and participate in the rodeo: call (800) 763-3694; e-mail info@nlbra.org, visit http://www.nlbra.com, or write to 1045 W. Rio Grande, Colorado Springs, Colo., 80906.

The Greeley Elks encourage everyone to come out to Island Grove on October 4th & 5th to cheer these young cowgirls and cowboys on. The rodeo is free to spectators.