LUVERNE, Ala. (WSFA) - The dirt will be flying in Luverne, Alabama, Saturday and Sunday.
The Alabama Junior Rodeo Association is making a stop in town at the Harbin Agricultural Center. More than 50 kindergarten through 8th-grade students will be riding and roping all weekend. There will be all kinds of events.
“Barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, in junior rodeo I like goat tying the best,” said Alabama Junior Rodeo queen Clara Chandler.
Don’t let their size fool you. The horses outweigh some of these young ladies by more than 1,000 pounds, but they’re in complete control. It takes a lot of hard work to get ready for a rodeo.
“I get up in the mornings and feed them," said Chandler. "I saddle them and ride them. Then, I go inside and do some school, feed them again, and clean their stalls. You pretty spend all day with your horses.”
“It takes a lot of work," said rodeo participant Zoey Carpenter. "I ride every day and all day if I can.”
Rodeo organizers are hoping for a good crowd to cheer these young ladies on.
“It’s just like anything else when you have a cheerleader you do your best," said event promoter Lisa Rolling.
The event is free both days, and on Saturday, there will be a tribute to our veterans. For the participants, they get to see if all their hard work pays off.
“At the beginning, I’m nervous, but after that, it’s a breeze,” said Chandler.
“Once you get your horses ready and you go into the arena, it all goes away," said Carpenter.
There are about 60 members in the Alabama Junior Rodeo Association, which covers our whole state and parts of the Florida panhandle. To be involved, you have to be involved in the community and get good grades. But the lessons they learn to go far beyond the arena.
“If you lose, you can’t be mad or upset," said Carpenter. You have to learn to deal with it. If you win, you can’t be arrogant. You need to stay level headed.”
Wise words from some talented young ladies. The action starts both days at 9 a.m. in Luverne at the Harbin Agricultural Center.