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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Young riders saddle up for the Dona Ana County 4-H rodeo

The Dona Ana County 4-H Rodeo, held July 11-12 at the Southern NM State Fairgrounds, draws in youth from throughout the state for their shot at a first place prize. The rodeo is open to 4-H members and is free for spectators.


Youth posing with awards
Group photo of youth competing in annual 4-H Dona Ana County Rodeo. (NMSU photo provided by Teresa Dean)

“Sanctioned 4-H rodeos provide a venue for exhibiting the skills 4-Hers learn throughout the year,” said Teresa Dean, agricultural livestock and 4-H agent for New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service office in Dona Ana County. “Local businesses provide sponsorships and community members are invited to attend the event for an introduction to rodeo and the 4-H Youth Development Program.”

Roughly 125 youth participants are enrolled in the event with 16 disciplines offered: barrels, poles, flags, goat tying, break-away roping, step-down roping, ribbon roping, tie down roping, team roping, steer stopping, steer wrestling, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer riding, junior bull riding and senior bull riding.

4-Hers are limited to four disciplines. Seniors, ages 15-19 will compete in their own bracket, while juniors, ages 12-14, and novice, 9-11, will compete in their respective age groups. A booster rodeo for youth under 8 years old will follow each performance.

A dance will follow Saturday’s events from 7-10 p.m.

“The 4-H rodeo project engages youth in activities that build skills related to ranching and horsemanship, while increasing life skills such as responsibility, critical thinking and self-discipline,” Dean said. “Youth also receive training related to personal safety and animal welfare before participating in rodeo.”

Awards are given out to the All Around winners of each age group for the overall weekend. Winners will receive a cash prize and saddle certificate. Reserve weekend All Around winners will be awarded buckles. Daily winners will also receive buckles for their accomplishments.

For more information on the 4-H Dona Ana County rodeo, contact Teresa Dean at 575-525-6649.