Braving cloudy skies, chilly temperatures and the occasional rain, boys and girls anxiously listened for their numbers to be called for the mutton bustin’ competition at the 80th annual Galveston County Fair and Rodeo.

More than 170 children, some as young as three years old, participated in the mutton bustin’ competition Saturday, the first full day of the fair and rodeo.

The children had a wide range of emotions — some kids smiling, others appeared more apprehensive — as attentive fathers and mothers helped dress them in small, masked helmets and riding gear.

Casey Delancey and his 5-year-old son Elijah compete in events like this on a regular basis across the state of Texas.

Delancey, who was visiting from Louisiana, made sure his son could be a part of the mutton competition, he said.

“It worked out to where we could make it today,” he said. “Elijah travels all over Texas to these events. We take him anywhere we can. He’s made the finals before.”

He enjoys mutton bustin’ events and riding sheep, Elijah Delancey said.

“It’s fun,” he said.

Later, as many children tumbled off their sheep, Elijah made it across the arena, earning cheers from a riveted audience.

Santa Fe resident Joey Hues wanted to help his 7-year-old son, Maddix, develop his love of riding, he said.

“He’s had a passion,” he said. “He rides calves and he rides with a rope. He’s been a part of several different circuits.”

He constantly practices riding in his free time, Maddix Hues said.

“Every weekend,” he said.

Huddled under the dimly lit arena, spectators bundled in jackets and appeared to enjoy the show. But for Joey and Maddix Hues, mutton bustin’ is more than a hobby.

“He made his very first ride here,” Joey Hues said. “He does it all the time now. He rides to advance his career.”

The fair will be open every day at Jack Brooks Park in Hitchcock until April 21. Events and shows take place on various days and a full schedule is available at galvestoncountyfair.com.

Connor Behrens: 409-683-5241; connor.behrens@galvnews.com.


Before coming to work for The Daily News as a staff reporter, Connor worked for us as a freelance correspondent throughout 2017. He has written for other publications such as the Washington Post.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.