Mutton Busting

Mutton busting is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding, in which children ride or race sheep. In the event, a sheep is held still, either in a small chute or by an adult handler while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the sheep is released and usually starts to run in an attempt to get the child off.

There are no set rules for mutton busting, no national organization, and most events are organized at the local level. The vast majority of children participating in the event fall off in less than 8 seconds. Organizations such as the ASPCA discourage the practice on the grounds that it does not promote kindness to, or respect of, animals.

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