8 Seconds on a Sheep: Your Guide to Mutton Bustin’

The Rocky theme song blasted through the speakers as rodeo cowboys and cowgirls were casually prepping for the evening rodeo behind the chutes, but in the rodeo ring, the REAL action was about to happen. Four little cowboys, decked-out in full cowboy gear, strutted into the Wynnewood IPRA Rodeo arena. Friends and family cheered them on as they made their way to the center of the arena and were introduced. The moms pulled out their phones and began proudly videoing and taking pictures of their little buckaroos. It was finally time for … Mutton Bustin’!

Men wearing cowboy hats at rodeo in Oklahoma

Mutton Bustin’, also known as Wooly Bully, is a rodeo event for children where the competitors try to ride a sheep for eight seconds. The sheep is held still, usually in a chute, and a child is placed on top like they are riding a horse or a bull. Once the child is placed on the sheep, the sheep is released and the child holds on tight while the sheep tries to buck the little cowboy off. Mutton Bustin’ was officially introduced as a rodeo sport at the National Western Stock Show in the 1980s by former rodeo queen, Nancy Stockdale. Now, Mutton Bustin’ can be found at rodeos and county fairs throughout the United States. 

Two young cowboys mutton bustin'The rules are different at every rodeo. At the Wynnewood IPRA Rodeo, in the middle of July, the competitors had to be 4-years-old or under. There were no weight restrictions, but if your child wants to compete in Mutton Bustin’, we suggest calling the rodeo and asking for their specific rules. This event is casual, so practice isn’t necessary before the event. Just dress your little cowboy in cowboy gear and he or she should be ready to go! 

Mutton Bustin' at Winnewood IPRA RodeoWoody Chick, a 4-year-old cowboy from Wayne, Oklahoma, was the proud winner of Mutton Bustin’ at the Wynnewood IPRA Rodeo after riding the sheep for eight seconds. When we asked him what his favorite part of the competition was, he proudly said, “Riding and winning!” Woody, we couldn’t agree more! He won $25 for first place. 

Rodeo clown and boy in cowboy hat in Chickasaw CountryIf you want to be a rodeo champ like Woody, don’t forget about all the rodeos in south-central Oklahoma. Check them out here: https://chickasawcountry.com/rodeos.


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