Exceptional Rodeo helps children with special needs

The Tri-State Fair and Turn Center hosted the 2nd annual Exceptional Rodeo for Exceptional Kids.

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Children with special needs and disabilities had a chance to participate in rodeo activities this evening at the Tri-State Fairgrounds.

The Tri-State Fair and Turn Center hosted the 2nd annual Exceptional Rodeo for Exceptional Kids.

The rodeo paired children with professional cowboys, cowgirls, and volunteers to assist in fun rodeo activities.

For children with special needs, this wasn’t just a night to remember. It was a night to forget.

The event allows local children with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities the chance to take part in the rodeo and forget about any disability they might have.

“This is a really good activity for these kids with special needs, they get to come out here and have a great time and act like cowboys,” said Mother of Exceptional Rodeo for Exceptional Kids Contestant Whitney Buccus

Whitney’s son is 8-years-old and after asking him his favorite event at rodeo he says goats are his favorite.

“Yes... Goats,” said Exceptional Rodeo for Exceptional Kids Contestant Banks Baccus.

“He didn’t want to leave," said Banks Mother.

Families and volunteers came together to make this an authentic rodeo experience for all of the children.

“What a great experience, especially when these Turn Center contestants grow up in Amarillo, Texas, we are in the heart of cowboy country," said Exceptional Rodeo for Exceptional Kids Volunteer Lance Barker. "They see these things on TV, and here they are next to actual rodeo contestants from WT and cowboys and cowgirls and being able to ride these horses, learn to rope, we just hope it’s meaningful to them.”

While the volunteers leave an impact on these children, the children also leave a lasting impression on them.

“I think that they get a big kick out of it, but I think more importantly that the adults affiliated with it, our volunteers, community members, people in the audience, they have a good time doing it also,” said Tri-State Fairgrounds President Dennis Horn.

For people with special needs, being a cowboy or cowgirl is a dream that seems far out of reach, but this evening it was made possible by the Tri-State Fairgrounds and the Turn Center.

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