Mutton Bustin’ is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding, in which children ride or race sheep.
If your child weighs 50 pounds or less and is between 5-7 years of age, he/she qualifies to participate in this event.
Mutton Bustin’ refers to a rodeo event wherein a sheep is held still, either in a small chute or by an adult handler while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the sheep is released and usually starts to run in an attempt to get the child to fall off. Awards are given to the children who can stay on the longest. There are no set rules for Mutton Bustin’, no national organization, and most events are organized at the local level.
The vast majority of children participating in the event fall off in less than 8 seconds. Age, height and weight restrictions on participants generally prevent injuries to the sheep, and implements such as spurs are banned from use. In most cases, children are required to wear helmets and parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action in that event.