THE smallest of cowboys and cowgirls were put through their paces at the free Mavericks Build a Cowboy/Cowgirl Day yesterday.
The next generation of rodeo riders and campdrafters were put through their paces at several stations set up in the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre.
Some kitted out in resplendent gear, the children practised roping calves, riding bulls, wrestling steers and more, using ingenious props.
Co-ordinator Kathy De Jong said about 100 children had taken part.
“We have lots of 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds – very keen young rodeo students,” Mrs De Jong said.
“Quite a lot of them are repeat visitors; some of the kids will be competing in the junior rodeo this week and they want to spend some time with some of the instructors to get some ideas and tips on how to ride.”
Mrs De Jong said the Build days always promised some of the most talented tutors, such as leading barrel racers and saddle bronc riders.
“We have some new instructors this year that have volunteered their time. We always try to get some young, keen instructors who are really good with the kids.”
One of those was Braydon Wellby, of Townsville, who won Cowboy Up on Saturday.
“It’s been great to volunteer at this, because it shows what’s coming up in the next few years and shows what talent is out there in the next generation,” he said.
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