Little Britches Rodeo is boots, chaps, cowboy hats and kids

The pandemic may not be over, but the rodeo rolls on

Posted: Aug 17, 2020 9:14 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2020 9:14 PM

The insidious virus may still be here, but there are signs we are coming out the other end of this pandemic. Case in point, on a recent August weekend a lot of cowgirls and cowboys gathered at Neosho’s Rock River Ranch for the first summer rodeo of 2020 on The Little Britches Rodeo circuit. The all outdoor event created little concern about spreading the Novel Coronavirus. The talk instead was about horses, family, saddles and bulls.

“It’s horsemanship,” said Oconomowoc’s Nate Kummrow as he stood holding the reins of his daughter’s rodeo horse. “Companionship with the animal, hard work and it pays off when they get to go in the arena.

The weekend featured barrel racing, poles, roping, an exercise known as goat undecorating, bull riding and more as a fundraiser for Rock River Ranch’s therapeutic riding program.

“This is our fifth year,” said Rock River Ranch founder Mike Furlong as he sat at the helml of a four wheeler. “This is a great fundraiser for our ranch and all of the money goes to helping people, youth use horses and their brains to help people with mental issues, PTSD and disorders.”

This reporter was on hand for the rodeo because he is a rodeo parent who loves watching his 8-year-old son, Colton, loping into the arena aboard his great-granddaughter of Northern Dancer, Nobel Essence. What he likes less is watching that same boy put on a kevlar vest and hockey helmet, then climb on the back of a bucking bull or steer for a competition the cowboys call “bareback.”

“You’re putting your 8-year-old boy on a bull, the biggest thing that you’ve got to do is you got to trust your bull fighters,” bullfighter Sawyer Gough told me as my child positioned himself on a steer spinning in circles in the chute. “You got to trust that the bullfighters out there in any situation are going to make sure that your kid gets out of there safe.”

Despite the bullfighter’s firm confidence, this rodeo dad was a nervous wreck as he saw his little boy bust out of the chute with one arm up in the air aboard a steer that appeared to be beyond angry. My cowboy clung to his bull fearlessly for several seconds before exiting out the side door and eating a faceful of dirt. Still, the kid was back on his feet quickly, slapping dirt off his chaps and giving high fives to his fellow cowboys. The boy’s father had shot video of the event and was soon checking his own pulse to make sure he was still alive.

The weekend ended with a rainstorm and an outsized New Holland tractor towing Ford F-150’s and horse trailers out of the mud, but the cowgirls, cowboys and their parents were all upbeat about the fact that rodeo was back and the subsequent weekends would be filled with boots, chaps, horses and competition.

“We just keep going,” said rodeo mom Larissa Nelson as she stood beside her daughter Aislynn who was perched atop her quarter pony, Jordan. “Rodeo keeps on rolling and they all help each other. It’s a good rodeo family!”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
Renville152640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 40°
Mason City
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 41°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 41°
Kicking off the workweek with warmer temperatures
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events