Event at Town Center is a warmup for the rodeo

By Corene Brisendine

About 30 kids between 3 and 12 years old competed in this year’s Junior Rodeo at Manhattan Town Center Mall as part of the Kaw Valley Rodeo.

For the 3 to 10 year olds, there were four events. The first was a horseshoe toss, where junior cowboys and cowgirls tried their best to ring a plastic horseshoe around the poll. Next, they tried their hands at shuffleboard, but instead of using discs they pushed rubber cow patties with a broom. After pushing patties, they galloped to victory at the barrel race where constants trotted a stick horse around three orange cones. Finally, they tried their best to rope a practice steer in the roping contest. Medals were given to first and second place winners.

Samantha Augustine took home a first place medal in the 9-10 year old girls division. She said her favorite event was the cow patty push. To determine who took first and second, she had to push patties twice against Brynne Kvasnica, who took second place in the same age group. Samantha wasn’t the only one in her family who took home a medal. Her sister, Emily, placed second in the 3-5 year old division. Emily said this was her and her sister’s first year competing and they looked forward to competing again next year.

The 11 and 12 year olds had only one event. They had to rope a practice calf off a practice horse.

Dustin Holle, who has been running the junior rodeo for the past four years, said he wanted to give the older kids an event to participate in as well, so, he created the calf roping event. The winner took home a belt buckle, just like a real cowboy. Three boys entered, and Porter Nowlin took home the buckle after roping the calf three out of five times. Porter said he has been practicing ever since he could remember.

In addition to the junior rodeo, there will be a fundraiser auction at 7 p.m. at R.C. McGraws on Sunday and a Readin’ Roundup at the Manhattan Public Library 10 a.m. on Thursday. Kids will also be able to participate in Mutton Bustin’ each day of the Kaw Valley Rodeo, July 25-27 at CiCo Park Wells Arena. Kids between 5 and 7 years old are allowed to participate, but they must be less than 60 pounds. There is also a limit of 15 riders per night per performance. Kids can sign up at 6:30 p.m. each night at the southwest gate, which is the main entrance. It is a first-come, first serve basis and parents must sign a release form for their children to participate. Kids must wear long pants and boots or closed toed shoes. Vests and helmets will be provided to all the Mutton Bustin’ contestants.

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