NORMAN — With cattle, horses and sheep heading out of chutes and pens into the arena, cowboys and cowgirls of all ages will have a chance to strut their stuff at the Noble open rodeo this weekend. The rodeo is set for today and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Noble Rodeo grounds east and south of the post office.
Tom Thomas from Farmer’s Insurance in Noble has been associated with the rodeo for years.
“I got on my first bull at this arena,” Thomas said. “And I didn’t know anything.”
Thomas said he used to ride, “but didn’t make a living at it. It was more for fun and sport.” Keeping it in the family, his kids rode and now his granddaughter is set to ride this weekend.
“I think it’s great. It’s great family entertainment. It’s outdoors, it’s not inside playing on a computer or watching TV,” Thomas said, adding that the barrel man keeps kids and adults alike entertained at times other than the events they came to watch.
Events include bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping, team roping, breakaway roping for women and boys 14 and under, and of course, mutton bustin’ for kids 5 years and under who weigh less than 50 pounds. Thomas said at the Noble rodeo, local cowboys participate in double mugging, an event where they catch a steer, throw it down and tie it up. One man is on horseback and the other on the ground. “That’s generally a lot of fun to watch,” Thomas added.
R.A. Cline has also been associated with the Noble rodeo for many years, and said it is his opinion that rodeo helps keep kids out of trouble.
“I have rode horses for a long time. The rodeo’s just an American sport that a lot of people watch and a lot of people participate in,” Cline said. “It gives the youth something to watch or do and helps to keep them out of trouble.”
Thomas explained that an open rodeo means anyone can participate without having to be a rodeo card-carrying member. Cline reminds participants that a parent or guardian must sign for kids to participate in mutton bustin’. Some events are already filled, but others are open.
Tickets at the gate are $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors. Livestock is provided by Rafter D Rodeo, who Thomas says is a “well-known rodeo producer. They raise their own bareback horses and bucking bulls.”
The rodeo queen and princess will be named during Saturday night’s events.