The first professional rodeo in The Dalles in four years proved to be a successful event that was well attended with full grandstands at the Fort Dalles Riders Club. The C.H. Urness Motor Co. Hell on Hooves Rough Stock Rodeo included over 40 cowboys and cowgirls from Oregon and Washington competing in four different categories of timed events, highlighted by thrilling bull riding.

There weren’t any entrants from Hood River or The Dalles in the Mid Columbia Marine & Motorsports sponsored event June 28-29. However, the rodeo fans enjoyed a fantastic show with hard working athletes who were demonstrating their phenomenal horseback riding skills in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing.

The two-hour show was definitely a fun and family oriented atmosphere that also included Mutton Bustin’. This popular and entertaining event consisted of a total of 10 thrillseeking boys and girls age 4-6, weighing 60 pounds or less, riding sheep in the arena. Rodeo Announcer Wayne White referred to the event jokingly as the only legalized form of child abuse.

The goal for these youngsters was to just try and hold on for six to eight seconds. In most cases it was a much shorter time for the kids as they usually fell onto the soft dirt arena surface in two seconds or less. The rather amusing event certainly provided the little sheep riders with a glimpse of how challenging rodeo competition really is.

On Friday, Hood River’s Jaxson Gordan, 4, competed in the Mutton Bustin’ riding a sheep named Steel Wool. On Saturday, Mosier’s Jaxson McClenathan, 5, donned his baseball helmet and motocross riding gear and rode a sheep for two seconds.

Joseph Brookmyer of Wishram seemed to have the longest ride of the brave group of youths as he managed to hold on and ride a sheep for eight seconds.

The event marked the first full fledged rodeo at the Fort Dalles Rider Club in The Dalles since 1975. Organizers of The Wild West Events Inc. program have plans to return to The Dalles next year and are hoping to make it an annual event for many years to come.

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