Local News


Rascal Rodeo for people with special needs held in Las Vegas for first time

Posted at 5:26 PM, Dec 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-08 22:01:27-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After making the rounds all over the Pacific Northwest the Rascal Rodeo pulled off its first event in Las Vegas for more than 100 special needs participants of all ages.

Whether it's roping steers, milking a cow or stick horse barrel racing; the Rascal Rodeo makes sure that no matter your age or level of ability that you can dream of growing up to be a cowboy or cowgirl.

“I got to experience for the first time the real rodeo here,” said Delores Olsen. “It was an amazing experience.”

It’s a first trip to Las Vegas for Delores, but in her home state of Washington she's participated in the Rascal Rodeo the last four years.

I like how everyone makes us feel like we're special,” she said. “Like family, and that we can do anything we want."

Anne-Erica Whitemarsh is the executive director of Rascal Rodeo.

‘It was created for people with special needs to be cowboys and cowgirls,” said Whitemarsh. “But then when you get parents and care providers coming up in tears and speechless because they can’t believe what their child of any age just completed.”

Provided free of charge through sponsorship and donations, much of the work of putting on the Rascal Rodeo is done by volunteers, some of whom have never worked a rodeo or with people who have special needs. They soon find it is as rewarding as it is fun.

“It’s a miraculous event and the volunteers come and they may never have worked with anyone with special needs.” Whitemarsh said. “And we have had people change their professions to now work with people with special needs. So, it’s a life changing experience for anybody and everybody that’s involved."

If you would like to donate to Rascal Rodeo you can text the word "RODEO" to 41444.