Going off without a hitch
Injuries, rain don’t slow Little Britches Rodeo Finals

       Nobody got hurt bad enough to keep them off their feet for long. The rain didn't cause serious delays. And a girl in the age 5-7 competition rode the barrel-race course faster than all but one rider - including girls up to age 18. Cody Gerard of Eagle rides in hot pursuit during the senior
boys calf roping competition during the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo championship round July 31. He finished eighth.
       These were three of the highlights cited by Kim Solberg, executive director of the National Little Britches Association (NLBRA) after its July 26-31 Rodeo Finals at the Penrose Equestrian Center.
       There were two injuries in the championship round July 31 - a broken arm and concussion in the senior boys bull-riding and a several-stitches head cut in the boys junior bareback riding - but both competitors “cowboyed up” to attend the event-ending awards ceremonies that night.
       “That just shows you how tough some of these kids are,” Solberg said.
       Top placers received various awards, including a total of $30,000 in college scholarships.
       The speedy young barrel racer was Alana Sanders of Lake, Miss.
       Several champion Pro Rodeo competitors attended the finals to give tips and encouragement to the young cowpokes. These were ropers Allen Bach and Jake Barnes, bareback rider Bobby Logue; bull rider Charles Sampson and barrel racer Marlene McCrae.
       Solberg said attendance wasn't bad, but “could be better.” She said that the El Paso County Fair going on the same week in Calhan might have affected the number of people coming to the rodeo.
       She also credited her sponsors, including the Old Colorado City Associates (merchants group), noting survey statistics that 62 percent of the competitors, families and friends shop at sponsors' stores.
       NLBRA headquarters are in the Penrose Equestrian Center. The program, named after the Ralph Moody book, has continued for about 50 years.

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