Up until the recent great migration into Colorado, Denver was known as a ‘cow town’. Every January we host The Great Western Stock Show. We traditionally leave our Holiday lights up until the last cowboy hits the dirt in late January. Believe it or not, many of the folk who come to see bucking broncos or ‘Spin Dry’ the Brahma bull, actually prefer to take a Lyft to the Stockyards and leave their ‘big A-s’ truck parked far away. Well, the Stock Show makes me happy. I especially felt that way when I picked up a family of four at a downtown hotel. Little Jimmy, who was sporting a cowboy hat that almost covered his floppy ears said, “I am a mutton buster”. Which in cowboy talk means it’s the first step to the broncs – they try to ride sheep.
Mutton Busting has been an annual event at the last half time show of the year of the Broncos game. It’s a Stock Show preview. It always gets a lot of laughs as the kids fly off a terrified sheep. Jimmy began to proudly tell me he had been practicing on Fluffy, the family golden retriever, and just last week he ‘almost got to the flower bed’. His older sister was his trainer and cheerleader, “I think he is going to win, he’s not afraid of anything’. I was having a flash back to when I was eight and my brother Charley was four. We spent two weeks on a dairy farm in Iowa. I talked Charley into dropping on top of a young calf from the fence. He lasted about two seconds.
We pulled into the ride share drop off at the stock yards. It was a parade of hats and boots and a whole lot of smiles. Some traditions are worth maintaining. I have no idea how Jimmy fared in his debut. But if
confidence is any predictor, there is a sheep who “got busted”.
Onward and Upward, Mark
2 thoughts on “Mutton Buster”
Mark, I have shared a booth with a friend at our county fair the last several years. She sells prize-winning cookies and I sell books. One of my favorite things to do if I can get away is watch the mutton busting. Some of the little riders just tip right over like a Weeble, but they are fearless!
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