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My camera has taken me to some pretty great experiences in the past years and this last weekend was no exception. Aug. 8-9, I had the privilege of perching my cowgirl boots in the Crow’s Nest, high above the rodeo at Brewer Arena. The Crow’s Nest is the announcer’s stand above the bucking chute opposite the grand stand.
The county sponsors the rodeo with assistance from the Pony Club and Krystal Zellner, a county employee.
Additionally, the Wiseman family of Clayton, has come to Los Alamos every year for the past 10 years to put on the best two-day rodeo in the area. The whole family makes the trip: grandparents, parents, spouses and grandchildren.
If you were lucky enough to have attended the rodeo, you would have heard Alan Logston announcing the many events involving the youth. One such event is the Calf Scramble where all the kids, age 10 and younger, come out into the arena where three or four calves with pink ribbons on their tails are released. The children who retrieve the ribbons won a free Los Alamos County Rodeo T-shirt.
Mutton Bustin’ is another event that the kids get to enjoy at the rodeo; children younger than age 6 get to try their hand at riding a sheep. From my vantage point I saw adults supervising the young participants to make sure they were safe and having a good time.
Of course, I mainly saw the tops of all the cowboy hats gathered around the chute but I was amazed at how many people were there for each of the kids before they tried their hand at being a cowgirl or cowboy.
A number of the participants had their dads run along side and hold their protective vests to help them stay on the sheep longer. One participant, Zane Wiseman, showed me, with a proud smile, the sheep’s wool that got caught in his spur as he was riding.
Carley Hollander, age 5, tried her hand at barrel racing and when her horse had other plans than circling the bright pink barrels, her mom, Jenny, came out and ran along side the horse to guide a successful ride.
The look on Carley’s face says it all and the experience was something I’m sure she won’t forget for a long time.
Los Alamos High School sophomore and Rodeo Princess Kaitlen Littleton, age 15, who has been barrel racing for four years and makes it look easy as she gracefully rides around each barrel.
When I saw my picture of her on the computer, I was surprised to find that she is literally flying above the saddle. I decided I was better suited for perching in the Crow’s Nest.
At one point I actually found myself, briefly as it was, thinking CowBoy Bronc Riding was something I wish I had tried in my younger years, Dale Rodgers made it look, well, doable.
But again when I got the picture enlarged on my computer screen and saw how his body was contorted as he was thrown off the horse, I appreciated my rodeo location so much more.
For the past year Bernadette Lauritzen has written many great stories for the Monitor about the importance of being a role model, mentoring and spending time with family and as I sat on the edge of the Crow’s Nest looking out over the entire rodeo I realized this rodeo is all about being a role model, being there for one another and family.