BELGRADE – Nine-year-old Ennis third grader Brummie Boggus has just qualified for the Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. But Brummie isn’t the only one. Seven-year-old Lewis Douglas, a second-grader from Belgrade, has also qualified, and so has his 10-year-old, fourth-grade sister Arley.
Cal Douglas, Lewis and Arley’s dad, couldn’t be prouder.
“Blown away by how tough they got this year,” the proud father said, “and the skills they’ve learned. It’s been amazing. I never expected it out of them, but they’re proving me wrong and really riding tough, and it looks like they’ve got a chance to go all the way.”
Arley is the most experienced of the group, having ridden bulls for the past couple of years. But in Vegas, she and the other kids will all be riding mini bucking horses.
“It’s a lot easier than bulls actually,” said Arley. “And I haven’t been bucked off of every horse I’ve gotten on this year. Actually, I’ve only been bucked off two.”
All of the kids ride in various competitions, and sometimes, even those rides can get a little hairy, as Arley found out when her horse dumped her in the practice ring.
“I think more than anything, it just teaches them that they can get bucked off and still get up and get back on,” Cal said.
All three kids have had experience on bulls, but qualifying on broncs is a little different.
“It’s fun,” Brummie said. “I get to hang out with my friends and it’s not as hard as bulls. When I ride horses, all I got to do is sit up and make a ride and bulls just … it’s easy.”
Lewis Douglas sees it a little differently.
“Oh, I think they’re a little bit harder than bulls,” Lewis said. “It’s like you got a better grip on your rigging than saddle bronc.”
Brummie sums up why these kids do this fairly dangerous sport.
“My goals in rodeo are to be No. 1, win the Nationals and the NFR,” Brummie said. “And get tons of money, and buckles.”