Marble Falls Youth Rodeo is all about horsemanship

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — If you want to get a look at some up-and-coming rodeo athletes — or just some great horsemanship — check out the 2014 Marble Falls Youth Rodeo on July 16.

The event is sponsored by the Burnet County 4-H Horse Club.

“We usually get between 30 and 50 kids,” said Kelly Haydon, a 4-H sponsor and a youth rodeo organizer. “We have four different classes, based on their ages, so the kids are competing against kids their own age.”

The youth divisions are 8 and under, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-18. Plus, there are boys and girls classifications as well.

The youth rodeo focuses more on horsemanship skills than rough-stock events.

“The kids really like speed,” Haydon said. “So it’s pretty much all timed events. That way, you’re also really competing against yourself and the clock.”

The youth events include poles, a goat-ribbon race, straight-away barrels, a flag race and clover-leaf barrels.

As well as competing against themselves, the youth are definitely looking to turn in the best times of the night in their events and classifications because, along with bragging rights, there are belt buckles and even some cash on the line. Haydon said local businesses have chipped in to sponsor belt buckles for the winners of each of the younger classifications.

“The 15- to 18-year-old boys and girls will be competing for a jackpot, but all the others, it’s buckles,” Haydon said. Reserve champions will earn a halter.

Though it’s a Burnet County event, the youth rodeo is open to competitors from all counties adjacent to Burnet County. So spectators can enjoy some good competition.

Entry for the participants is $10 a class plus a $10 walk-up fee the day of the event. For registration information, call Haydon at (830) 265-8048.

Spectators, however, can enjoy the rodeo for free. There will be a small concession stand.

The gates and books open at 6 p.m. with the rodeo starting at 7 p.m. The youth rodeo will be at the Charley Taylor Arena, located about a mile south of Marble Falls on U.S. 281. The youth rodeo is the kick-off for the Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo event, which is July 18-19 at the arena as well.

Go to marblefallsrodeo.org for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com