Rodeo of the Ozarks Starts With a Mutton Bustin’

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The 69th Rodeo of the Ozarks attracted cowboys and cowgirls who dressed to impress to watch some of the best livestock in the country in barrel racing, cattle roping and bull riding.

"This week is Cowboy Christmas week," said Tex Holt, Rodeo of the Ozarks chairman.

One of the highlights of the night was the traditional Mutton Bustin'. Kids between the ages of 4 and 6 ride sheep and get sheep trophies at the end of the ride.

"They have their chaps on and they'll have their vest on," Holt said. "We want them to dress just like the big cowboys and cowgirls and were going to treat them like the big cowgirls and cowboys."

These young cowboys and cowgirls are dedicated and many took a hard fall.

"I fell off the sheep and got a little dirt in my mouth," said Xzavier Mann, 5.

Dozens of volunteers make it happen every year and spectators cheered on the professional athletes.

"Definitely a lot of excitement it just feels like it kicks off the 4th of July holiday every year," said Heather Mann.

Tex Holt said, "It's the Fourth of July tomorrow, it's a big day for this country, we want everybody to have a good time and we want to be a part of that."

About 500 professionals athletes will be competing for $100,000 in prize money.