You don’t have to be very big to get a shot at glory at the Franklin Rodeo.
In fact, participants in the famed mutton bustin’ competition can’t weigh more than 50 pounds.
The sheep-riding contest is a big draw for tiny tots, who register near the entrance before the start of the rodeo and hope their names are drawn to compete later in the evening. The goal is to see who can stay on a sheep the longest.
On Friday, rodeo fans cheered as the evening’s chosen competitors strode bravely into the arena at the Williamson County Ag Expo wearing protective vests and helmets.
Many didn’t last long after bursting out of the chute gate one at a time. Before the youngsters could possibly know what was happening, they were in the dirt.
Four-year-old Lacy Kincaid of Spring Hill held on long enough to be declared the winner. After her victory, she smiled and posed for photos. Asked if she was scared out in the arena, she shook her head no.
Kenny Stephens was proud of his three-and-a-half-year-old son, Kaleb, for hanging on as long as he could.
“He made it as far or farther than most of them,” said the proud Brentwood father. “My little man.”
Stephens’ 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, competed in the calf scramble, another event for children. In that competition, children race against each other to see who can pull ribbons off the tails of three calves turned out at the opposite end of the arena.
This weekend’s rodeo runs through tonight. For more information, visit franklinrodeo.com.