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home : features : community August 1, 2014


7/2/2014 8:02:00 AM
Hearts always happy at the Happy Hearts Rodeo
Trib Photo/Sue Tone 
Joseph Molasky, 12, from Prescott Valley, gets instruction on how to rope a “steer” from Horses with HEART volunteers.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Joseph Molasky, 12, from Prescott Valley, gets instruction on how to rope a “steer” from Horses with HEART volunteers.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone 
Participating in her first rodeo, Jasmine Owens, 2, Prescott Valley, sits tall in the saddle as she rides around the rodeo grounds.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Participating in her first rodeo, Jasmine Owens, 2, Prescott Valley, sits tall in the saddle as she rides around the rodeo grounds.

Sue Tone
Reporter


The pre-opener of the World's Oldest Rodeo kicked off Monday afternoon in Prescott with an uplifting performance of the Happy Heart Rodeo for children with special needs, thanks to Horses with HEART volunteers and applause from the stands.

Working with the Prescott Frontier Days, Inc., team and rodeo contestants, the hour-long event provided a real rodeo experience for these exceptional children.

Competing in four events - bronco riding, sheep (un)tying; horseback riding, and stick horse racing - the children win ribbons and medals. Many look forward to this event as the highlight of their year; others ride for the first time.

Participating in the arena with an announcer calling the events over the PA system, they interact with volunteers, cowboys and rodeo queens.

In the early 1980s, the wife of a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association cowboy came up with the idea to offer exceptional children a first-hand experience at rodeo.

The idea became a reality, and Prescott Frontier Days, Inc., and PRCA have been involved ever since.

Happy Hearts Rodeo participants and families also enjoy a Cowboy Dinner.


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