For more than 20 years now, a Phillipsburg man and his family have been putting on a rodeo for area youth.
The 23d annual Rockin’ M Youth Rodeo will take place at noon on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Long Lane Lions Club in Long Lane just west of Laclede County.
“The rodeo gives kids of all ability levels a chance to compete and win some prizes. Some of the kids won’t compete in another rodeo or horse show the rest of the year,” said Rockin’ M Youth Rodeo founder Clint Massey.
The rodeo features a wide range of events for toddlers all the way up to 16 year olds. All levels of cowboys and cowgirls will have something to do from racing stick horses to zipping around barrels on the real thing.
One of the biggest draws of the day is watching kids try their best to hang on to a bucking animal for 8 seconds. Their age will depend on what kind of animal they’ll be riding. The younger kids (ages 6 and under) will get a chance to ride on sheep in the mutton busting event. Older kids (in three age brackets) will get to riding steer.
There are people on hand to help the kids and even catch the younger ones when they fall off. There are also safety vests and helmets available.
Other classes include a chicken race, goat throwing, goat tying, a calf scramble, chute roping, breakaway roping, egg and spoon (kids ride on horses in a circle while balancing an egg on a spoon), and barrel racing.
Entry is $2 per class. Signups for each class ends promptly at 11 a.m.
Ribbons will be presented for first through fourth in each class. There also will be buckles presented for All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl as well as the top person in each age bracket. The Burtin Cup is given out each year to a special competitor chosen by the event organizers.
“The winner of the Burtin Cup is always someone who shows the most sportsmanship and has participated in several events,” Massey said. “They’re not necessarily the top competitor but someone who showed a lot of spirit.”
Admission for adults is $6 each.
Concessions will be open and proceeds from the food sales will benefit the Long Lane Lions Club.