The tenth annual Exceptional Kids Rodeo was held Feb. 11 in the Cheraw Gymnasium. The event was hosted by the seventh-grade advisement group, assisted by the Otero Junior College Rodeo Team.

Special needs students from Cheraw, La Junta Primary-Intermediate, and Jane’s World  Intermediate schools participated as contestants at the rodeo. Buckles were awarded to winners of the flag race, pole bending, barrel racing, coloring contest, and all-around winners. Coats were also given to many of the contestants as various awards, courtesy of Colorado Junior Rodeo Association (CJRA).

Aside from competing in the various adapted rodeo events on stick horses, the competitors also got to pet a pony, hold baby goats, learn to rope, and get autographs from OJC students and local rodeo royalty.

“This event has always been very special to the OJC rodeo team,” Linsay Sumpter, OJC rodeo coach said. “Not only do we get to spend time with a great group of kids, but we get to give them a glimpse of our way of life. Our Otero Rodeo athletes get to partner with local students for the day, and show them what they do at the National Intercollegiate Rodeos. It’s a great way for us to participate in the community and we look forward to this event for years to come.”

More than 20 OJC Rodeo Team members attended the event, assisting the various activities. Exceptional Kids Rodeos have been held across the nation for many years as a way of introducing special needs students to the sport, allowing them to become a cowboy or cowgirl for the day, and meet the real-life contestants of the sport.

For more information on the OJC Rodeo Team, contact Linsay Sumpter, head rodeo coach, at or 719-384-6876.