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6:11 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Happy Hearts Rodeo: Event seeks people to cheer kids on Thursday

Les Stukenberg, file/The Daily Courier<br>Cait Devereux, 7, of Phoenix, enjoys a horseback ride during the 2009 Happy Hearts Rodeo.

Les Stukenberg, file/The Daily Courier<br>Cait Devereux, 7, of Phoenix, enjoys a horseback ride during the 2009 Happy Hearts Rodeo.

The organizers of the 18th Annual Happy Hearts Rodeo for Exceptional Children invite the public to this free rodeo event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 28 at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. Special-needs children will ride, rope, do goat-tying and have stick-horse barrel races in the arena with cowboys and rodeo queens.

The event, put on by Horses with H.E.A.R.T and the Prescott Frontier Days, Inc. team provides a real rodeo experience for these children just prior to the opening of this year's World's Oldest Rodeo "Your support for these children is essential to maximizing their experience," said Arlene Alen, a spokewoman for Horses with H.E.A.R.T. "Please join us and cheer them on, applaud like mad, and help us fill the stands in tribute to their courage."

Specially trained horses led by volunteers walk carefully around the rodeo ring with their young riders wearing helmets and cowboy hats. Children also try their hands at lassoing and many other events.

Many children look forward to this event all year, Alen said.

"For those of us at Horses with H.E.A.R.T who volunteer at this event, our lives are changed forever," Alen said. "Participating and experiencing the joy on the faces of these children and their families is a blessing for us all."

To volunteer or for more information about Horses with H.E.A.R.T., call 928-533-9178 or go to the web site www.horseswithheart.org.