By LARISSA COPELAND
The 18th annual Yukon FFA Rodeo will bring a piece of cowboy culture to the Yukon Round-Up Club Arena Aug. 2-3.
A fundraiser for the Yukon Ag Booster Club, the rodeo’s proceeds benefit members of the Yukon 4-H Club and Yukon High School FFA.
“It started out as us needing a fundraiser for our kids,” said rodeo chairman Sabrina Buller. “One of the parents had a connection with a livestock contractor, so we decided to put on a rodeo to see if we could make some money.”
The rodeo’s success allowed it to be sanctioned by the International Pro Rodeo Association, Buller said. She estimates that about 3,000 people come and watch the events, which include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, cowgirl barrel racing, cowgirl breakaway roping and bull riding.
New this year, Buller said, is mutton busting, an event geared around children who weigh 40 pounds or less. Similar to bull riding, participants ride sheep to see who can stay on their animal’s back the longest.
“Participants will need to provide their own protective gear,” Buller said.
Registration for mutton busting participants is required, she added, and will be $20. Participants must register at the rodeo ground at 5 p.m. the day of the rodeo, and participants will be allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis.
Regardless of how many bull riders or barrel racers enter the ring, Buller said it’s all done for one purpose: to help local students who are involved in agriculture.
“Everything we’re doing is for the kids,” she said. “You’ll see Yukon FFA or 4-H kids out working the rodeo, from helping deal with livestock to running concessions to picking up trash or selling programs. They’re the heart of what we’re doing.”
The Yukon Round-Up Club Arena is located at 600 E. Main in Yukon. Parking is available east of the main arena entrance. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the gate and can be purchased in advance from any FFA member, at Langston’s Western Wear (1105 Garth Brooks Blvd.) or at Christian Brothers Automotive (742 Garth Brooks Blvd.).
The rodeo will begin each night at 8 p.m.