Rodeo always stable element of county fair

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"It's the bulls and the blood, the dust and the mud; the roar of a Sunday crowd; it's the boots and the chaps, the cowboy hats . . . and they call the thing rodeo." sings Garth Brooks in his hit song, "Rodeo." That's what draws the cowboys — and cowgirls — to compete in the rodeo, and keeps coming back. What brings the spectators in, of course, is the contestants who are brave and tough enough to enter.

The organizers at the Socorro County Fair and Rodeo are undoubtedly hoping for as little blood as possible, but looking for a great turn out in spectators and contestants for the rodeo during the 64th Annual fair, coming this weekend to the Socorro County Fair Grounds. Indeed, the rodeo is one of the essential elements of the county fair each year, drawing a crowd.

The New Mexico Rodeo Association sanctioned junior rodeo will take place Friday and Saturday evenings with an 8 a.m. slack roping on Saturday morning. Buster Webb is this year's main stock contractor. Travis Sullivan will provide sheep and mini-bulls.

Team roping will be limited to 15 teams each performance; barrel racing for 14 and under limited to 10 contestants per night. Other limitations and conditions may apply.

There will be a mutton busting contest again this year, along with the other traditional junior rodeo events.

The junior rodeo will have all the usual excitement — from bronc riding and bull riding to barrel racing and team roping, this will show off the talents of many young rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from around the region. All events are held each night, as contestants compete for their buckles and saddles.

A rodeo dance will follow the rodeo each night at 8:30 (or when the rodeo ends). The Yarborough Band, out of Las Cruces, will play both nights.

A barrel racing and mini-bull riding event will be held on Monday, starting at 10:30 a.m. Walk-up registrations are welcome, up to one hour before the event. Mini-bull riders can also call Travis Sullivan to enter.

Contestants wanting information about the mini-bull riding competition should contact Travis Sullivan at 575-518-8164, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sullivan.bulls. All of the barrel racing events are National Barrel Horse Association sanctioned events. For fees, deadlines and general contestant information about the rodeo, call 505-366-4329.

For further information, contact Laura Haines at 575-835-2460.

Spectators will pay $10 to attend the rodeo, and $10 for the dance, or there is a $15 combined ticket.

Students pay $8, and children under 12 years of age are free with a parent or guardian.