Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Junior Rodeo to open Grandstand events at Fair


For the first time in recent history, the Phillips County Fair is holding a Youth Rodeo on Thursday, August 2, as the opening Grandstand Event.

Registration for the event closes on Thursday, July 26. Prizes per event entry vary.

The event which starts at 7 p.m. will include a Pony Race for kids aged 11 and under, and an Open Saddle Horse Race for kids aged 10-18 at 6 p.m.

“In the saddle horse race they will just race around the track once, for a half a mile,” Joey Kill Eagle the event's coordinator said. “We might have two (Pony races) on those races depending (how many) on miniature Shetlands, miniature ponies and regular ponies.”

As for the Youth Rodeo, events are broken down in four sections depending on the age and sex or the rider. For girls aged 8-13 there will be barrel racing, pole bending and breakaway roping. For boys aged 8-13 there will be breakaway roping and steer riding.

For girls ages 14-18 there will be barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping. For boys ages 14-18 breakaway roping, chute dogging, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, ranch bronc riding, and junior bull riding.

Kill Eagle explained what chute dogging was.

“In semi-pro rodeos there is steer wrestling where the guy comes off of the horse and onto the steer, grabs him by the horns and throws him down,” Kill Eagle said. “In chute dogging the steer will come out of the bucking chute and they will just grab onto the steer and throw it down.”

He went on to say there are no horses in chute dogging.

Kill Eagle was then asked which events would be the most exciting.

“On the girls side I would say the barrel racing,” Kill Eagle said. “Everybody has got pretty nice horses around here and barrel races have come a really long way around here. It's fast and everybody watches the event.”

He went on to say what events were the most entertaining for the boys events.

“In the boys events it's anything with rough stock. The bronc riding, the junior bull riding,” Kill Eagle said.

There will be a team roping event open to children aged 10-18. There will also be a muttin bustin event for children 6 and under, though entries are limited to the first ten participants. There also may an adult horse race depending on interest.

As far as interest in the youth rodeo, Kill Eagle has had plenty of interest from riders at other youth rodeos this summer.

“Yes, there has been interest,” Kill Eagle said. “We have been handing out entry forms at all of the other youth rodeos along the Hi-Line. Places like Chinook and Havre. Lodge Pole also had a youth rodeo.”

Kill Eagle shared why youth rodeos were important to rodeo culture.

“To start them off and see if they can continue on to go higher than youth rodeos,” Kill Eagle said. “It's a lot better to start them off at youth than to bring them in there as an older teenager. Most of these kids are starting off young and there are kids starting even younger than (the riders in this rodeo).”

Though his family has been involved with the Phillips County Fair, Kill Eagle believes that this year was the year to host a youth rodeo.

“My son is in youth rodeos and involved in youth rodeos and has been stocking youth rodeos with bucking stock, so we just thought it was our time to step up and put a rodeo on,” Kill Eagle said. “I know that there are a lot of hard working people around the county who don't have time to put these rodeos on so I thought it was our time to put one on for the youth.”

For participation entry fees and stock charges as well as more information on the Phillips County Fair Youth Rodeo contact Joey Kill Eagle at 945-2174.


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