By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Whether they wear a 4T or size 14, young cowboys and cowgirls will have the opportunity to show their rodeo talent at the Great Northern Fair. The arena has geared up for a kids rodeo extravaganza tonight, Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Hill County Fairgrounds.
For the 15th consecutive year, the junior rodeo will feature cowboys and cowgirls, ages 4-18, in numerous events. The rodeo will showcase the grandstand entertainment Thursday evening beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Over 100 aspiring rodeo stars will vie for top prizes in competition tonight, said junior rodeo director Keri Hansen.
Sheep riding, goat ribbon tying, barrel racing and flag racing are events that will feature the younger crews.
The older rodeo stars will participate in steer riding, pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, calf roping and breakaway. Any age can participate in the team roping and team penning portions of the contest.
Basically, this gets the kids started in their rodeo experience, Hansen said. It gets the kids started who look up to the older kids who already rodeo.
Although all the kids seem to enjoy all events, Hansen said, there is a limit of 30 contestants in the 4-to-6-year-old sheep riding event due to the large numbers of sheep riders.
The kids just really enjoy all of it, Hansen said. The barrel racing for the girls is a big thing. The boys like the calf roping and steer riding.
First and second place finishers in each event will receive a belt buckle. For the second consecutive year, an arena boot race will be held for the 4-6-year-olds. All participants will receive a T-shirt and winners will receive gift certificates to Corral West.
Veteran announcer Bob Sivertsen will be the announcer for the kids again this year.
He does a really good job with the kids, Hansen said. When they are going slowly, hell talk to them. Sometimes they even talk back.