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Mutton busting

File:Mutton bustin.jpg
Mutton busting at a rodeo in Denver, Colorado

Mutton busting is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding. In the event, a sheep will be caught and held still while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the people holding the sheep let go and the sheep then starts to run in an attempt to get the child off. Often small prizes or ribbons are given out to the child who can stay on the longest.

The children are on occasion injured by the sheep. Height and weight restrictions on participants generally prevent injuries to the sheep.[1] Parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action in that event. Anti-rodeo groups such as SHARK describe the practice as child abuse. Organizations such as the ASPCA also discourage the practice on the grounds that it does not promote kindness or respect of animals.[2]


  1. Firstcoastnews.com Mutton Bustin' Draws Laughs
  2. "Animals in Entertainment: 5.4 Rodeo" web site accessed June 27, 2007 at http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pp_en_rodeo

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