Little Britches Rodeo rides into town this weekend

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Their boots go up past their knees, their cowboy hats fall over their noses, and their belt buckles look more like WWE title belts.

Those are just a few of the precious images that come from the youngest participants in the Little Britches Rodeo.

But it's not all cute and cuddly for the future cowboys and cowgirls of America.

"I think the littlest ones might be the most competitive," said Diane Brannan, coordinator of Craig's Little Britches Rodeo, which happens today through Sunday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The rodeo is for junior cowpokes ages 5 through 18. The divisions are ages 5 through 7, 8 through 13 and 14 through 18. The 5- to 7-year-old division, or the "Little Wranglers," was a new addition last year, and the registration has doubled for this year's rodeo.

With more than 150 participants, the Craig Little Britches Rodeo is one of the largest in the national circuit.

"We put on a good rodeo that attracts a lot of people," Brannan said. "We also have a lot of local interest."

Each year there are more than 70 rodeos across the country.

Brannan said about 25 local competitors were registered for the weekend. The first round is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. today, and the rodeos will start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a full rodeo each day with traditional rodeo events such as bareback riding, barrel racing, pole bending, saddle bronc riding, breakaway racing, goat tying, bull riding, steer wrestling and team roping. Other events special to junior rodeo are trail course, flag race, ribbon roping and tie-down roping.

Winners in individual events receive Rodeo Bucks, which are certificates to use at businesses that support the rodeo. The bucks can be spent at 44 establishments.

"We'll give out $8,500 in Rodeo Bucks that go back into the community," Brannan said. "It's a nice boost for our sponsors."

The cowpokes will be competing for Rodeo Bucks with the stock from the H&H Stock Company out of Del Norte. The overall champions in each division will receive saddles.

The cost for each rodeo is $3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors and $6 for a family.

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