Little Britches Finals July 26-31
Nearly 700 to compete for national championships in 3 age divisions

       A total of 689 contestants between ages 5 and 18 are signed up to compete in a range of events - many of them unique to younger cowboys and cowgirls - in the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo starting Monday, July 26 at the Penrose Equestrian Center.
       Competition will continue during the week, with those who have attained the “short round” (final 15) in each event vying for titles starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 31. Otherwise, starting times each day will be 9 a.m. for the daytime events and 6 p.m. for the evening events.
       To compete in the rodeo, contestants must have have placed at least two times in any of the 220 Little Britches rodeos that have been held at various sites around the United States since last August, according to Lesli Nichols, membership coordinator for the National Little Britches Association (NLBRA).
       The ages are broken out into three championship categories, with events as follows (Nichols' explanations are included in parentheses for age-unique events):
       Little Wrangler (ages 5 to 7 girls and boys) - barrel-racing, pole- bending (weaving a horse through a series of six poles in a line), goat-tail untying (riding up to a goat tied at a fence and undoing the rope holding it) and a flag race (two barrels with buckets: the rider sticks a flag in one bucket and takes one out of another.)
       Junior Division (girls, ages 8 -13) - barrels, breakaway roping (roping a running calf around the neck), goat tying (flanking a goat and tying it), pole bending, trail course (like an obstacle course - low jump, mail in a mailbox, back the horse up between barrels, ride over a bridge with poles on each side).
       Junior Division (boys, ages 8 -13) - bareback riding (no saddle; 6-second time), steer riding (6-second time), breakaway roping, flag race, goat tying, dally ribbon roping (two on team; one is roper and one is runner, roper ropes calf out of chute and runner gets ribbon off animal's tail).
       Junior Division (boys and girls, ages 8 -13) - dally ribbon roping.
       Seniors (girls, ages 14-18) - same events as juniors.
       Seniors (boys, ages 14-18) - bareback riding (8-second time), bull riding (8-second time), bronco-busting (8-second time), steer wrestling, tie-down calf roping (rope calf around neck, flank it, tie 3 legs together); and team roping.
       Seniors (girls and boys, ages 14-18) - team roping.
       The competition will produce a world champion as well as a finals champion. The world champ will be selected on the basis of points at his/her five best Little Britches rodeos since Aug. 1, plus points gained at the finals, Nichols said. The finals champion will be the person with the most points in the finals rodeo.
       Daily tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children ages 9-12. Ages 8 and under are $1. Military people and families get in free July 30.
       For more information, call the National Little Britches office (headquartered in Colorado Springs) at 389-0333 or go to the web site: www.nlbra.com.

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