Event Details:

January 28 // Special Rodeo // Barnett Fieldhouse, Rapid City // 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

“The Special Rodeo is a free opportunity for us to spotlight and celebrate those in our community with disabilities,” said Anna Whetham, community relations specialist for Monument Health

Rodeo Rapid City is set to host the second annual Special Rodeo on January 28th in the Barnett Fieldhouse, where participants of all ages can saddle up and experience various rodeo activities between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

“We wanted to give them a day to have fun and have activities that they can be a part of,” said Whetham. 

The events range from stick horse barrel races, dummy roping, goat ribbon pulling, bucking machine rides, and painting live miniature horses. Suncatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy will bring in its therapy horses and provide horseback rides.

“We want to build a connection of having a place that’s about them and that is going to lift them up and build confidence, and also the connection with animals is something that’s extremely therapeutic,” said Whetham. 

The fun and fellowship continue before the rodeo activities begin. 

“This event brought joy to the participants, their parents, but also all of us who were helping out.” -Anna Whetham

The afternoon will start with a free lunch for participants, their families, and volunteers from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., followed by event registration from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. with coloring and face-painting activities available. 

Each participant will receive a free t-shirt and trophy at the activities. 

The arena is set up to ensure that participants with different disabilities can partake in the events. 

“The ground is accessible to those with wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers to come out,” explained Whetham. In addition, all participants will be partnered with a rodeo buddy to assist during the rodeo. 

The Special Rodeo is also for parents and caretakers says Whetham, serving as a reminder that they are not alone.

“There are moments of reminding themselves that there are others that are in the same shoes as them,” said Whetham. “We want them to see that there’s hope and there’s a community that supports them.”

“This was something that started very small, and I was fortunate to be a part of it from the beginning. I was able to see it grow and to see more and more people join the cause.” -Anna Whetham

Whetham describes the Special Rodeo as a perfect opportunity for those with disabilities to participate in something that brings joy. 

“We had a little girl who was a participant at our first event, that told one of our volunteers that she had ‘been waiting for this day her entire life’,” said Whetham.  

For more information, visit MONUMENT.HEALTH/SPECIALRODEO.

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