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8:20 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

A little rain, a lot of fun: Happy HEARTS Rodeo kicks off Frontier Days

Joeli Knott, 8, is a one-handed bullrider at the Happy HEARTS Rodeo kicking off Prescott Frontier Days on Tuesday. Giving her a 10-second ride are volunteers Jeremy Owns, left, and Josh Lindeblom.

Joeli Knott, 8, is a one-handed bullrider at the Happy HEARTS Rodeo kicking off Prescott Frontier Days on Tuesday. Giving her a 10-second ride are volunteers Jeremy Owns, left, and Josh Lindeblom.

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Racing together in the goat tie at the Tuesday, June 28, Happy HEARTS Rodeo are two friends, Joeli Knott and Leah Wolford, both winners in this event.

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Gavin Bailey pulls the tie of the toy goat’s tail and races to the finish, cheered on by a Horses with HEART volunteer.

Rodeo Week Schedule

Wednesday, June 29

• Performance #2 – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 30

• Performance #3 - 7:30 p.m.

• Rodeo Dance, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at BMO Harris Bank parking lot, 303 N. Montezuma St. Band: Zona Road

Friday, July 1

• Kiwanis Kiddie Parade, 9 a.m. on the Courthouse Plaza

• Performance #4 - 7:30 p.m.

• Rodeo Dance, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at BMO Harris Bank parking lot, 303 N. Montezuma St. Band: Zona Road

Saturday, July 2

• Courthouse Plaza Arts & Crafts Show, downtown

• Prescott Frontier Days Parade, 9 a.m., downtown Prescott, courthouse plaza; Theme: “Let your voice be heard… Vote, it’s the American Way!” Parade Grand Marshall: Tanya Tucker

• Boot races, after the parade

• Geritol Hipsters perform, 1:30 p.m. on the plaza

• Performance #5 - 1:30 p.m.

• Performance #6 - 7:30 p.m.

• Whiskey Row Street Dance, 5 p.m., downtown

• Rodeo Dance, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at BMO Harris Bank parking lot, 303 N. Montezuma St. Band: Zona Road

Sunday, July 3

• Cowboy Church, 8:30 a.m., Rodeo Grounds grandstands

• Courthouse Plaza Arts & Crafts Show, downtown

• Guyabera Social Club, 1:30 p.m. on the plaza

• Performance #7 - 7:30 p.m.

Monday, July 4

• Courthouse Plaza Arts & Crafts Show, downtown

• Yavapai Brass Quintet, noon on the plaza

• Prescott 4th of July Celebration, noon at Mile High school field, downtown

• Performance #8 - 1:30 p.m.

• Fireworks, 9 p.m. downtown

Rodeo performances are at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, off Fair Street and Willow Creek Road

For the past 23 years, Prescott Frontier Days has opened its run with happy kids, happy volunteers, and the Happy HEARTS Rodeo – June 28, 2016, being no exception.

Even the intermittent rain and a muddy arena didn’t dampen spirits for about a dozen youngsters with special needs who participated in several rodeo events.

It wasn’t Drake Kellogg’s first rodeo, but it was his first time on a horse, said Drake’s father, Kevin Kellogg. The plan was to coax the 10-year-old up onto Scoop for the experience of sitting on a horse only.

“I was a little nervous putting him up there, but once he was in the saddle, he was fine,” Kevin said, watching Drake and Scoop ride a short circle around the arena not once, but twice. “We were here last year, but he did very little.”

Drake also rode a stick horse around barrels (red cones) and fell to the ground. That’s because rodeo cowboys are supposed to get bucked off, his father said, with a laugh.

Isabell Loughmiller, 6, started riding with the Horses with HEART (Hands-On Equine Assisted Riding Therapy) organization in Chino Valley several weeks ago. She rode Sunshine, a palomino, like she was born on a ranch.

Other rodeo events included the goat tie (retrieving a ribbon tied to the tail of a toy goat), bronco riding (a human-assisted mechanical bull), and calf roping.

As the rodeo crowds began to fill up the grandstand, one more round of applause cheered the cowboys and cowgirls out of the arena and off to get some grub (pizza).

Horses with HEART volunteers, parents, and Royal Court contestants will return next year to root for the 2017 Happy HEARTS Rodeo champions.