The Cleburne Youth Rodeo is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday as local youth athletes are set to take center stage at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo grounds.
The festivities are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. each night while rough stock, including mutton busting, is slated for a 10 a.m. start Saturday morning.
The Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse hopes members of the community will come out and watch these local young athletes compete in the sports they love. Entry is $5 per person. A full concession stand will be available and there will also be vendor booths for shopping.
“Over the years, usually all we get is parents, family and friends to watch,” said Amber Bransom, Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse’s secretary. “But we want the public to know it is open to the public. It’s a rodeo any way you look at it but it’s really cool to see little kids come in and be just as competitive as the pro rodeo they’re used to seeing every June. You’re watching 3- and 5- and 8-year-olds do all the same events that the adults do.”
The Cleburne Youth Rodeo will abide by and enforce local COVID-19 related protocols and orders to provide a safe environment.
“We have to follow the county and city ordinances and orders so we’ve got signs posted requesting that people stay six feet apart and when that’s not possible they’re asked to wear a mask,” Bransom said. “Fortunately, we are in an outdoor venue so we’re able to spread out more. There are stands on both sides so it should be easy for people to social distance.”
The Cleburne Youth Rodeo is the Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse’s annual fundraiser. All proceeds from the rodeo are used for awards and scholarships for the junior posse youth members.
“This is where our main funding comes in with year-end awards and scholarships,” Bransom said. “It all goes back to the kids. It’s not meant to make a profit, it’s just to go back to the kids in the community and surrounding communities.”
Cleburne Youth Rodeo contestants compete in various roping events and speed events including goat tying, bull riding, sheep riding, barrel racing and more. This year, more than $3,000 in added money will be paid out in addition to regular winnings.
The action is expected to be jam-packed with more than 100 contestants expected to compete in more than 300 runs total across three days.
“It’s one big huge rodeo but because of the number of entries we get, it’s three different performances,” Bransom said. “They’re not separate rodeos each night. Same events each night, but different contestants each night, kind of like PRCA Rodeo does. The fastest time wins out of all three nights total.”
The Cleburne Youth Rodeo and the Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse have been around for nearly 40 years and consists of riders that range in age from two to 21 years.
“It’s a great organization for the kids,” said Bransom, who participated when she was a youngster. “Having animals teaches kids responsibility and what hard work is.”
The Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse is a youth organization that focuses on youth riders of all skill levels and ages. Bransom said they take pride in being one of the few organizations that give riders of all levels a place to come and learn without intimidation.
“We pride ourselves in the fact that we truly are beginner friendly,” Bransom said. “We have Monday night practices that are free for the members to come and ride and build their skills. It’s very family oriented; everyone’s willing to help everyone. A lot of the bigger associations are so competitive that some kids fall through the cracks or feel like they’ll never have a chance at winning. So I feel like we offer more for the beginner type — but we also have some who compete in the bigger events and do well in those as well.”
As Bransom said, although the Junior Posse does have several youth riders that are just learning, they also have advanced and seasoned riders that have grown in their skills through their years with the organization and have gone on to ride competitively in professional rodeos. Some of these riders have also proven to be excellent mentors to the younger riders.
All playdays for the Johnson County Junior Sheriff’s Posse are held at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo grounds (1315 South Main in Cleburne) and are also open to the public and free to watch.
If you are interested in watching or joining the Junior Sheriff’s Posse, check out the website for upcoming events and membership information www.jcjsp.yolasite.com. The organization also has a Facebook page.