Mini Rodeo draws special needs fans Valley wide

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BRAWLEY — The 28th Annual Cattle Call Mini Rodeo was held Wednesday morning to a record crowd of over 500 special needs people.

The Mini Rodeo is held for those with special needs that have a hard time negotiating the large crowds at the Cattle Call Rodeo. This is a shorter version of the rodeo that is packed with thrills and horsemanship. The Mini Rodeo is only open to invited guests. Without the effort of local cowboys and cowgirls, these kids may not have the opportunity to see a rodeo.

The Cattle Call Mini Rodeo Committee consists of chairperson Julie Reeves, Joanie Moore, Cheryl Foster, Brett Leavitt, Lauren Hutchinson, Patti Wilson, Ashley Taylor, and Patti Wilson.

Joanie Moore started the Mini Rodeo in 1988.

“We love doing this event for these kids,” said Cheryl Foster. “Special needs children from all over the Valley are invited to this event. The smiles on their faces let us know they are having a good time.”

The community event featured over 100 local volunteers and contestants. The Naval Air Facility sent a crew out to assist the children and those in wheel chairs into the stands.

“Our committee feels it is a great privilege to share our love for horses and rodeo with those that do not have the ability to ride or even be able to attend a regular rodeo,” said Julie Reeves. “About 90 percent of those putting on this event are youth, whether they are a contestant, clown, or part of the arena crew in the form of the BUHS Rodeo Club. It is a great time for them to learn empathy and develop a desire to serve those less fortunate.”

This year, the Cattle Call Mini Rodeo Committee received a certificate of recognition for their contribution to the special education community and what they do through the Mini Rodeo from the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

“We couldn’t do this without the help of the volunteers and generous sponsors,” said Reeves.

The 60th Annual Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo is November 12 and 13.