KALISPELL — A competitive kid’s sport at the Northwest Montana Fair, involving sheep called -- Mutton Bustin’ kicked off Thursday night at the fair.
It’s a unique sport where kids lay down on top of a sheep and try and hold on for as long as they can while the sheep runs around the rodeo arena. The longer the rider stays on the sheep, the better the score.
A couple of years ago Amanada Oedekoven’s son competed in his first Muttin Bustin’ competition. Now, it’s her daughter Kylee’s turn. The prize this year is a brand new pair of Justin cowgirl boots and Oedekoven says that getting to ride is a competitive name drawing process.
“A lucky few get selected to go. A couple of years ago my son did and this year my daughter did. So, they’ve been pretty excited for that opportunity,” explained Oedekoven.
The training is pretty simple. The Oedekoven’s don’t have sheep, so Kylee rides bareback on her horse. However, riding a sheep is a little different than riding a horse.
“The sheep is…small and has a lot of wool and instead of sitting up right, they’re going to wrap their arms around their necks and hold on.”
To simulate a sheep, Amanda and her husband built a bucking bronco for their kids to practice on. Six-year-old Kylee Oedekoven has been waiting to compete in this competition since she first saw her brother compete two years ago.
Colton, has some advice for his younger sister. “Don’t fall off, hold on tight, don’t get stepped on and watch for the turns.”
Kylee competes Thursday night in her first Mutton Bustin’ competition.