Rodeo is a sport that spans across all borders. Just ask the Australian, Parisian, Canadian, and Brazilian contestants who have all competed at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Senora Scott stepped inside the arena to get a closer look at another competition with contestants breaking barriers of their own.
Different. It's what these kids have been called their entire lives, but here at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, in this arena, everyone is equal.
"The smiles on the kids’ faces that really changes it and makes me want to do it more and more and more."
There were plenty of smiles to go around. Just ask Kennedie Mendiola, she's an 8th grader at...
"Lincoln Middle school."
And she's got lots of friends.
"My momma, Erica, and Kelly, and my grandma, and my class, and Michelle and Miss Martha."
They’re all in the arena learning about animals and the rodeo. They roped, barrel raced, and even got on some bucking stock. But Kennedie is no stranger to the western way of life. She even showed a goat last year.
"My goats name? Cheyenne."
While these youngsters are having a blast, there are some older kids volunteering who are having just as much fun.
"It's really changed how lots of kids see life, just realizing how blessed we are."
Jess Gonzales is a senior at Eldorado and is part of this FFA group running the chutes, taming stick horses, and serving as roping instructors.
"I didn't realize it was going to be this hands on but once you get into it you really see the results of what you do for these kids and it's amazing,” Gonzales said.
This group from Eldorado has helped at this event before, keeping the tradition alive, along with the feeling they get at the end of the day...they all want to come back and help for as many years as they can. Learning lessons you can't find in a textbook.
"It helps us get out in the real world and be able to communicate with people like this and it shows a lot of good skills that you learn throughout life and we'll carry this forever,” Gonzales said.
Because after all, isn't rodeo for everyone?