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Children as young as four years old tried Mutton Bustin’ at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

Mutton Bustin'
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jul 15, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS– After a week full of activities, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo wrapped up on Saturday. Hundreds of people, families, kids, and friends came to the Norris-Penrose Event Center for the festivities. People watched barrel racing, team roping and bull riding. A fan favorite was the Mutton Bustin’.

Mutton Bustin’ is a popular rodeo tradition for kids who are brave enough to sign up. Kids are placed on the backs of sheep and have to hold on for as long as they can. Kids as young as four years old participated.

Gavin Harris is seven years old and tried Mutton Bustin’ at the rodeo.

“I just tried to hold on tight and just let him go and I just let him run as fast as he could,” Harris said.

Large groups of people crowded around the mutton bustin’ practice area. Even though many kids took hard falls, Harris was not scared to give it a try.

“I just wanted to go go go,” Harris said.

A large group of students from The Air Force Academy, who are in basic training, came to the rodeo. Anjulina Abdon is a Junior at The Air Force Academy who is helping to train the new cadets. She said the mutton bustin’ was her favorite thing to watch.

“I think the mutton busting with the little 4 year old kids hanging on the sheep. I think that's super adorable. It's scary because I'm like, oh, they're getting trampled,” Abdon said.

Though Abdon finds it entertaining to watch, she is glad it's not her little cousin riding the sheep.

“I think my four year old little cousin would love it, if he had the opportunity. But I’d be like absolutely not, you're gonna get your neck or back stepped on or something. I don't want you to get hurt,” Abdon said.

While the kids rode sheep, others learned how to lasso. Eric Stigall is a part of the Pikes Peak Mutton Busters and teaches people of all ages how to rope and lasso goats.

“We give them the basics on how to throw rope and you learn a little bit of the western way of life and then when they're ready, they get to go in and rope goats on their own,” Stigall said.

Timothy Wolfe and his wife Mary recently moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to family. Wolfe said the Rodeo is a great place for the kids.

“A lot of fun events for the kids to do and see,” Wolfe said.

Stigall taught Timothy and Mary how to lasso. The first practiced on plastic goats, but once they felt comfortable they were able to try to lasso a real goat.

“Learning how to lasso is a whole different experience. I had to practice before I was able to lasso the head of the goat and pull the head of the goat towards me,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe said despite his previous experience with horses, lassoing was a new technique he was excited to learn at the rodeo.

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