Mutton busting lets kids become rodeo stars by riding sheep

CCTV News

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You’ve probably heard about bull riding or bronc riding, but what about a sport called “mutton busting”? It involves young kids holding onto the backs of sheep and it’s become a ‘can’t miss’ event at stock shows and rodeos all over the United States.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.

Mutton busting lets kids become rodeo stars by riding sheep

Mutton busting lets kids become rodeo stars by riding sheep

You've probably heard about bull riding or bronc riding, but what about a sport called "mutton busting"? It involves young kids holding onto the backs of sheep and it's become a 'can't miss' event at stock shows and rodeos all over the United States. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.

It’s a big night for some of the smallest visitors to Denver’s annual National Western Stock Show.

“Tonight there’s 50 youngsters about this big riding sheep,” said announcer Wayne Wise.

Mutton busting, involves a very brief thrill ride in a rodeo arena for kids between five and seven years old who weigh under 25 kilograms.

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The goal is to hang on as long as you can.

“I’ve been practicing on my grandpa,” said cowboy hopeful Colton Lewis.

Mutton busting is a hit. People at the stock show, pardon the pun, flock to these events. But they’re no laughing matter to some folks who argue the sheep are often exploited and mistreated.

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“Mutton busting involves putting frantic children on terrified sheep. The sheep’s ears and tails are often yanked on repeatedly,” Kristin DeJournett of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said.

Wise said that no sheep are hurt.

“I mean you got a kid that’s 50 pounds, he’s not going to hurt a sheep,” Wise said.

The contestants all wear safety helmets.

  • One of my favorite quotes: “You teach a child not to harm a butterfly for the sake of the child as much as the butterfly.” Teaching children to respect animals, not to climb on their backs and ignore their distress, is part of good parenting. If there were more of that our world would be in better shape.

  • alvin stein

    Really????