Local rodeo enthusiasts are gearing up for the 14th Annual Lil’ Britches Rodeo in Gays Mills on Mother’s Day Weekend-May 12 and 13.
The rodeo is held on the Crawford County Fairgrounds located on Highway 131 in Gays Mills. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. both days with an admission of $5. There is no admission for children under six years of age.
What is Lil’ Britches Rodeo?
It’s a series of rodeos held around the state that is open to anyone 6 to 18 years old. The Gays Mills event is the first rodeo of the season for the LBR series. Local organizers, like Tracy Byl and Margaret Davidson, can’t help but smile when they point out that the rodeo “goes on rain or shine.”
“Almost every year it’s rainy and cool,” Davidson recalled. “There have been a few years of sunny weather."
However, the rodeo arenas in Gays Mills are well known as very forgiving in wet weather because of the sandy soil.
Both Byl and Davidson are parents of former local rodeo performers.
Tracy’s son Kenneth Byl was a champion bull rider in Lil’ Britches and the Wisconsin High School All-Around Winner.
Davidson’s daughters, Amy Nichols, Angela Davidson, Amber Davidson and Anna Davidson, were competitors in pole bending and barrel racing events. Margaret’s granddaughter Coral Jones, from Sparta, will be in Gays Mills to compete in the pole bending and barrel racing competition again this year.
Jones will be joined by Starr Nelson, Soldiers Grove, Carlie Nelson, DeSoto and Jeanette McCormick in the competition at this year’s Lil’ Britches rode. In addition to the barrel racing and pole bending events, Starr Nelson will also compete in roping events.
Although the Lil’ Britches Rodeo starts competition at age six, they offer a special event for those five and under called mutton busting. The future rodeo performers are given a chance to ride a sheep. More than one bull rider started their career as a mutton buster.
Anyone interested in participating in the mutton busting can call Becky Steele at 608-735-4459.
If all that is not enough, a special event was added to rodeo in the last few years called the Ranch Rodeo. The event is open to anyone of any age and starts immediately following the Lil’ Britches rodeo competition on Saturday. The Ranch Rodeo features competition in practical skills used on ranches and farms, like loading, sorting and roping livestock.
Whether it’s bull riding, barrel racing, mutton busting or racnh rodeo there’s something for everyone at the Lil’ Britches Rodeo in Gays Mills this year.