January 26, 2014

Dozens of kids participate in youth rodeo

January 26, 2014 Kristin Finney The Valdosta Daily Times

BROOKS COUNTY — More than 40 children, ranging from under five years old and up to 18, gathered in Brooks County on Saturday morning to participate in the first of a four part series Youth Rodeo event.

This Youth Rodeo series was created by Buddy and Serena Johnson after realizing that there are almost no opportunities for children to compete in rodeos locally.

“The purpose for this is to allow kids in Valdosta to use a riding arena that isn’t strictly barrels and poles. This is really a full rodeo. They do a grand entry. They have to wear the right attire. It gives them the feel of a real rodeo,” said Serena.

Participants were able to compete in several different events including barrels, pole, team roping, steer riding, steer wrestling, tie downs, and much more.

They also opened up the competition to include bulls and broncos, though not many youth participated in those events.

“We are trying to build the next generation that will compete in this sport. I hate to say that this is a dying sport, but it is because it is so expensive. This gives them a chance to actually compete at an affordable cost,” said


The Youth Rodeo is not an association event, meaning that the children can compete without the added expense of an association. With an association, riders and members have to sell sponsorships and tickets. That’s not the case with this rodeo, though they are looking for sponsors to help supply awards and equipment for the riders.

The rodeo also had judges from the Professional Cowboy Association to score and judge the riders. Some events were judged on speed, others were judged on who could ride the longest and who had the best times.

“The people in rodeo are great. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. Some people dedicate their lives to softball or baseball. This is our softball and baseball,” said Prairie Smith, 14, who has been riding since she was 4 years old.

“It’s basically our life,” added Jessica Bell, 18, who has been riding for more than 13 years.

The next youth rodeos will be held in February, March and April.  

For more information on the rodeos or sponsorships, find J2 Quarter Horse on Facebook or contact the Johnson’s at (229)740-1420.

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