Rodeo series becomes weekly tradition

It probably took Casey Barnes a good two minutes to wrestle the goat to the ground and get its legs tied, but time doesn't matter when you're smiling as widely as Barnes was.

"That's one of the great things about the Black Mountain Rodeo Series, the kids aren't forced to abide strictly to the rules," Rodeo Organizer Lorrae Moon said. "If Casey was at a typical rodeo he would have been disqualified from the goat tie because of time, but here we let him finish."

Every Wednesday night, the roping arena on the east side of the Fairgrounds is chock-full of pint-sized cowboys and cowgirls, and not-so-pint sized cowboys and cowgirls, who look to participate in the Black Mountain Rodeo Series.

Competitors, who range in age from 5-year-olds to adults, saddle up their horses to participate in the break-away roping, goat tie, pole bend and barrel race events.

The rodeo was originally created because of many children's inability to travel to rodeos across the state.

"We wanted to make a local rodeo for the kids that can't travel, and open up new events to the kids who already rodeo," Moon said. "So far, it's been extremely popular, and we haven't seen a week go by that our turnout hasn't increased."

The rodeo, in this its first year, has grown from around 15 participants to more than 30 in less than a month.

Anyone with the desire to follow the cowboy way is invited to participate in the rodeo, no matter what their experience level may be.

"It's serious, but fun," Moffat County High School rodeoer, Amanda Lyster said. "I mean, you're serious about what you are doing when you're out competing, but when you mess up, people are there to help you."

The rodeo isn't held just in the name of fun, but money as well.

Each night, participants compete for the chance to win a 50 percent payback from the money raised through entry fees.

The entry fee for the rodeo is $8 per event for non-members, and $5 for members. A year-long membership for the Black Mountain Rodeo Series is $20.

At the end of the year, Moon and other organizers hope to take the surplus money made over the season, and put it toward member-based awards.

"We're looking to give all the members who participated in eight of the 11 rodeos an award," Moon said. "But, the important thing is we want all members to get an award, because the rodeo is run more for the participation than the performance."

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