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Saddle up! It's rodeo time in North Iowa

Clear Lake grandfather and grandson tell us why they're interested in competing in rodeos during Miniature Rodeo National Finals

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 1:38 AM
Updated: Sep 9, 2019 9:56 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - There's some people who just love a good thrill ride. 

For some, it's going on a rollercoaster. But for others, it's hopping on a bull and hanging on for dear life.

This past weekend was rodeo time at the North Iowa Recreational Arena, where kids from ages 2-18 came from all across Iowa and five other state to compete in bull and bronc riding and barrel racing in the Miniature Rodeo National Finals. Each age group consisted of the Top 15 contestants that qualified from their own respective rodeos.

Bostin Wistey of Clear Lake has been riding bulls for about a year and a half ago. While he rode horses originally, he would later discover bull riding.

"I just watched YouTube and saw a video on it. And I said, 'I wanted to do this.'"

To prepare for rodeos, he practices using a drop barrel. When competing, he doesn't get nervous, and has some words to share for those who want to give it a go.

"Don't let go, hang on tight."

But his Grandpa Paul Gagnon says it's a tad nerveracking for him to see his Grandson compete.

"My anxiety level goes through the roof sometimes. But the more he does it, the easier I get. He's been banged up and you never want to see that. We pray before he goes in and we pray when he comes out."

And the level of competing is very friendly.

"They're really good friends. These are all rodeo boys and girls and they cheer each other on and support each other. It's individual, but they're together in it."

He's also seen more and more kids taking a shining to rodeos, and has a theory why.

"It's the cowboy. I think there's a little cowboy in all of us, and once they get a taste of cowboy in their mouths, it's hard to go back."

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