Mutton Bustin'

Kids hang on for wild, wooly ride

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Before each PRCA rodeo performance in Payson, 10 fluffy sheep will dodge, dive and jump as 10 young wranglers grip the wool with everything they've got.

"Mutton Bustin'," as the event is called, is open to children weighing less than 50 pounds, and will happen just before each rodeo performance Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The fleecy sheep will bleat and baa as young buckaroos try and hold on for 8 seconds. Those who do hold on will be judged for style and finesse to select a winner. Young rodeo clowns will be on hand to keep everything in order.

"It's a cute event. As cute as cute can be," the event's organizer, Penny Conway said.

Winners will receive trophies and ribbons. All participants must wear helmets and have a release form signed by a parent to take part.

Besides the 10 riders, two alternates will take part to replace those with last-minute doubts about riding the wooly creatures.

To sign your young cowpoke up for the event, go to the information booth in between the two main grandstands one hour before each rodeo performance.

Only the first 10 people to sign up at each performance will have a place on the dusty arena floor.

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