By Robin Hunt
On Thursday, Sept. 7, local youth rodeo clubs banded together at the Blue Sage Arena in Castle Dale to put on the inaugural “Special Little Round Up.”
Members from the Southeastern Utah Junior Rodeo Club, Emery Rodeo Club, Carbon Rodeo Club and USU Eastern Rodeo Club worked together to host over 50 special needs students from the Castle Valley Center.
“I can’t help but be so overwhelmed with joy and tears,” event organizer Emily Wear stated at the end of the round up.
The goal was to share what they loved about rodeo and the western lifestyle while learning the importance of service and giving back to their community. Students arrived in buses from Carbon and Emery counties and were greeted with their own t-shirt back numbers, sponsored by the Emery County Travel Bureau, and a goodie bag to hold their rodeo prizes.
Smiles, laughs and excitement were abundant as students rotated between five stations. They were able to learn to rope, run a stick horse barrel race, race and weave the poles, and pet and snuggle farm animals at a “petting zoo.” And because no rodeo is complete without a snow cone, each attendee had a snow cone made just for them.
After the cowboys and cowgirls made their way through all the rodeo events, they rounded up and headed to the park for a rodeo lunch of footlong hot dogs, chips and salads, sponsored by Ponderosa Grill and Hidden Splendor Floral and Bakery.
The event was a great success and all the cowboys and cowgirls are already looking forward to next year.