Don’t Miss the Jr. NFR Bareback & Bronc Riding: December 6-10 at Cowboy Christmas

The Las Vegas Convention Center’s famous Cowboy Christmas second level arena is again hosting Jr. NFR championship action of the Junior Roughstock Association (Mini Bareback and Mini Bronc Riding World Championships). Start time is 12 noon. In four age divisions, riders from ages 6 through 17 compete for the Jr. NFR title on seasoned, carefully selected bucking mini-horses, ponies and horses under 56 inches tall.

Jr. NFR

Don’t let the smalls fool you. In the PeeWee (6 to 8 year old) division, contestant ponies aren’t wild buckers. Those youngsters’ mounts are just enough to let those kids get a feel for life as bucking horse riders. Once they nod and the chute gate opens, these pairs are flanked by fast-footed men on the ground who follow their movement and catch the kids when the whistle blows at 6 seconds or they start to come loose.

Credit to Vegas News for this picture.

It gets real in the upper age divisions. These riders spend all of the regular season on the road to qualify. The small horses they ride, buck! There is professional coaching all along the way, safety is taken seriously in both competition and horse selection, but the overall goal is to build great contestants both in and out of the arena.

Photo credit to the Jr. NFR Blog for this photo.

“I was astounded by the skill and grit level these young riders bring to the contest,” Lori O’Harver of Bronc Riding Nation said. “What was even MORE astonishing was the professionalism kids from 6 through 17 bring to their post-ride interviews. Just teaching rodeo’s young to compete is good, but not enough in today’s urbanized world where people misunderstand and sometimes resist animals being involved with people. They represent themselves and their sport as true ambassadors everywhere from their social media presences to greeting fans. These kids are nothing short of impressive.

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