The cheers were loud. The smiles were huge. The verdict was unanimous – everyone had a fantastic time at the Seventh Annual Southwest Texas Junior College Kid's Rodeo.
More than 700 students from pre-k through the second grade attended the event hosted by the SWTJC Rodeo Team. Schools represented included Dalton Early Childhood Center, St. Philip's Episcopal School and the Kirchner and Powers Child Development Center at SWTJC.
"My team members really did a good job this year," coach Roy Angermiller said. "We even had a couple of our guys paint their faces up and serve as rodeo clowns to add to the entertainment."
The event, held Wednesday afternoon, began with a prayer, followed by the playing of the National Anthem, as rodeo team members paraded through the arena on horseback carrying the American Flag, the Texas Flag and the SWTJC rodeo team flag.
Prior to the first event, Angermiller gave a brief history of how rodeo began when cowboys working on ranches would compete against each other in events like steer wrestling, calf roping and bull riding. Eventually, cowboys from ranches in different parts of the state challenged each other for bragging rights and rodeos became a part of the culture.
This year's kid's rodeo included calf roping, goat tying, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Angermiller introduced members of his team as they participated in the various events. Samuel Desmuke drew one of the largest cheers of the day with his performance in the bull riding.
School officials commended Angermiller and his team for hosting the event and interacting with the young fans.
"Roy does a great job talking about the history of rodeo and how lucky we are to live in this country.," St. Philip's principal Joy Watkins said. "His team members set a great example for our kids. It was a treat for all of our students."
Dalton principal Janice Estrada agreed. "Our kids had a fantastic time. We look forward to this event every year and we can't thank Mr. Angermiller and his team enough for taking the time to do a special performance for us," Estrada said.
She also thanked the county for allowing the event to be staged at the County Fairplex Arena. "What a great facility. We felt like we were at the stock show and rodeo in San Antonio," Estrada said.
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