Busting mutton is a hit at Cattle Call Rodeo in Brawley
Six-year-old Kathryn Caswell of Brawley holds on to a sheep as she competes in the mutton busting event Sunday at Cattle Call Arena in Brawley. (Fernando Acosta Jr.)
At the tender age of 6, Oscar, of Brawley, was set to ride the sheep for the first time with his yellow protective head gear on and the unwavering support of his family.
“No,” Oscar said when asked if he was nervous. “Are you?”
Oscar was among 12 pint-sized kids between the ages of 5 and 8 who tried staying atop a sheep for as long as they could during the Cattle Call Rodeo that is in its 55th year.
While some of the young contestants wound up teary eyed after falling off the sheep, most of them took it in stride as an appreciative audience cheered them on at the Cattle Call arena.
All of the contestants received ribbons for their efforts in the event that wasn’t timed like the other rodeo events, said announcer Coy Huffman.
Mutton busting was featured in all three Cattle Call Rodeo performances, Huffman said.
The object behind mutton busting is to hang on to the sheep’s wool as it tries to get the child off its back during its flight from a small chute, Huffman said.
Huffman compared mutton busting to trying to stay atop a “runaway motorcycle at full-throttle with brakes that don’t work.”
That didn’t seem much of a problem for 8-year-old Kamrin Dickerson, who is already a veteran with a couple of mutton busting events under her belt.
“This is my second,” the young Brawley resident told an event coordinator moments before entering the arena.
After the event, Kamrin drew applause for holding on the longest as she held her limbs around the running sheep.
“I just wrapped my arms with my legs around the sheep,” Kamrin explained. “And I held on to the wool.”
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org