LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For most of these young cowboys and cowgirls, this isn't their first rodeo. They differ in ages, from toddler to teen, but some of them find common ground in their favorite event.
The six and under category compete in many events that rely on the kids endurance and not the horse.
Higher age groups will bring out obstacles and calves for the horse and rider to work with.
"This one time, I was riding my old pole horse, and I was going down there," said cowgirl, Jaylyn Brazzel. "And, I lost my balance, and I fell. And, all of a sudden, my head went back down to the ground, and my mouth was full of dirt."
Parents, like Mallory Moss, know that the rodeo is more than just fun and games.
"A lot of discipline," said Moss. "It gives them a drive. They want to do better. It makes them competitive. It gives them just a meaning and an understanding of competition and the work you have to put in to succeed."
Moss herself has to put in some long hours.
"I have to get out there and catch and saddle, so that takes a good hour, a hour and thirty minutes," said Moss. "And, then, we ride for an hour or two. We pin calves to practice calf roping. Then we all have to unsaddle. So, it is a lot of work. It takes several hours a day."
Despite the hard work, rodeo mom, Emily Delafosse said that most of these kids will probably be back next year.
"They love to cheer each other on," said Delafosse. "Then they play afterwards. It's just, rodeo is a family sport, whether you're blood or not. You become family. You're rodeo family."