The competition was spirited, tough at times and fun above all for the cowgirls and cowboys in the Alaska Rodeo's Junior Rodeo on Friday during the Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River.
Stick barrel racing is for the tiniest cowpokes: Instead of racing around barrels on a horse, children ride a hobby horse.
The goat ribbon pull went on even with the absence of a goat to hold the ribbons. (A roping dummy stood in for the goat.) In the event, competitors race their horses the length of the arena, dismount, grab a ribbon off the roping dummy and hot-foot it back to the start line, then go get their horse — which sometimes followed them back and at other times wandered off.
Steer riding is just like bull riding, except the steers are smaller than the bulls in the adult rodeos and lack horns. But the ground is just as hard when riders are thrown off.