Watch 'My America': Keeping an American Pastime Alive With 'Mutton Bustin'
Mutton Bustin’ started as a halftime attraction at the rodeo to entertain crowds. Now, kids from Colorado to California are getting the chance to experience this American pastime.
On today’s My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, owner and president of Wool Riders Only, Tommy Giodone, explained what makes people go wild for this event.
Young fans from three to six years old are selected at rodeos and carnivals to ride sheep going about 20 miles per hour. The crowd cheers on the kids, who are at that point holding on for dear life.
“People eat it up,” Giodone said, “I wish I had some sheep from Jurassic Park because I could do this for adults all day long.”
Some critics say the practice puts animals and children at risk. But Giodone showed off protective gear similar to that worn by professional bull riders. Riders also wear hockey helmets with full face masks.
Just as much care goes into the animals, who Giodone refers to as his babies. “We have a strict 60 pound weight limit … and that’s to protect the animal.”
Parent Melissa Rockey admits she was nervous when her kids wanted to give it a try. Eventually, she came around to the idea when she saw how excited they were.
“I think there’s risk involved in anything the kids are going to do. They can fall of their bike and get hurt,” Rockey said.
Giodone has three different trucks performing in 16 events around the country. Winners from each of those stops win a trip to the finals where they compete for the chance to win a $5,000 savings bond.
So, would you let your kids go Mutton Bustin'? Check out more from 'My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck' in the video above and tell us what you think!