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Start Em' Young

Photo by Erin Christine Photography

The first lesson in being tough for any rodeo kid is to ride a sheep. Youngsters are encouraged and cheered on as they are instructed how to hang on to the wooly beast and ride longer than any other intimidated preschool age child. It is after the sheep is released and runs across the make shift arena when the bruised and banged up child comes up with tears in their eyes and searching the crowd for their Mom. Bewildered why they were encouraged to do such a thing, a year later they anxiously sign up for the Mutton Bustin’ event again. This first lesson in hard knocks is their introduction to rodeo and their first opportunity to get bitten by the bug.

The Junior Rodeo, held Sunday, June 25, 2017, is a family favorite event at the North Park Never Summer Rodeo and we see our attendance increase by a third just by including the festivities following our Sunday Main performance. While the Mutton Bustin’ is an event held both days, the Junior Rodeo events only take place following the Sunday performance. Events include the ever-popular Bull Riding and Steer Riding for young aspiring rough stock riders. Also included are timed events in the Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Team Roping and Ribbon Roping. Events are split into two age groups: Seniors- 14 and Up or Juniors- 13 & Under. Stock is provided by the Berentis Livestock Company, whom also provides the stock for the main event.

Photo by Erin Christine Photography

For toddler age youth that are too young to participate in the rough and tough events, we do host a Rodeo Clown contest on Sunday during the parade. It is also split into a Junior and Senior category for little tykes wanting to dress up like a rodeo clown and vie for the opportunity to win a nice buckle sponsored by Erin Christine Photography.

For the rodeo enthusiast, the sport is a family event and often starts at an early age by attending Junior Rodeos and Gymkhanas in area home towns. North Park has a fantastic Junior Rodeo where we often see entrants travel from hundreds of miles to participate in our event. Buckles are awarded to the winner in each Junior category, which are sponsored by the Castle Peak Ranch.

The Junior Rodeo is made possible by Junior Rodeo sponsors from around the county and state as well. The Junior Rodeo sponsor this year is American Ag Credit of Greeley, CO. Sponsors of the individual events are North Park Meats (Bull Riding), Evans Cattle Company (Steer Riding), Pinedale Natural Gas (JR Team Roping), C Russell Trucking & Ag (SR Team Roping), Rocky Mountain Fence Company (JR Barrel Racing), Mountain Parks Electric (SR Barrel Racing), Park Range Ranch (JR Pole Bending), North Park Plumbing (SR Pole Bending), Moriah Ranch (JR Ribbon Roping), and the Big Creek Ranch (SR Ribbon Roping). The Mutton Bustin’ event is the only event held both Saturday and Sunday and is sponsored by the River Rock Café. The chute is sponsored by Goulette Construction.

Photo by Erin Christine Photography

Entries are now open and forms can be obtained on the rodeo website: or by emailing Interested youth can also attend the Local Entry Night held at The 10th Frame (bowling alley) from 6-7 PM on Saturday, June 17th. Entries do close after Saturday, June 17th unless an event is not filled. The one exception is the Mutton Bustin’ which entrants can sign up for the day of the event for free.

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