On the sunny Saturday morning of April 4, youth, teens and adults put on their Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and hats and headed to the annual Aal-Tash Fun Day Rodeo. The rodeo was held at the Wild Horse Facility “behind the canal,” off North Mesa Drive in the northern part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Competitors in five events were organized according to age divisions. The first event was dummy roping for youth age 5 and under. The children brought their own ropes to lasso a dummy calf. Many skilled children completed the event. Next was broomstick barrel racing, where the younger entrants simply tried to finish, rather than the timed barrel racing which took place that morning with older youth and adults.
Pole bending and flag racing were also competitive events. Later on that morning came the famous woolly ride, where small youth hang on to sheep as long as they can, and calf riding.
Steer riding for all age divisions, women’s calf dressing and men’s calf dressing ended the rodeo events.
“It’s a great event for the kids to experience rodeo, whether it be their first time or if they’ve been doing it for a while,” said Community member Molly Sanchez about the Aal-Tash Fun Day Rodeo.