Mutton busting is not a complicated sport. You take one kid, put them on a sheep and open the gate. 

But New Windsor Rodeo Chair Michael Smith quickly found out it’s a crowd favorite. 

“It was a huge success last year. Rave reviews,” Smith said. “Everybody asked how do we get our kid involved in mutton busting at New Windsor?”

Now it’s their newest tradition. 

So many kids wanted to ride that they used a lottery system to pick the contestants and earlier this week the 30 lucky riders got in some mutton busting practice. 

First out the gate was 7-year-old Katherine Price.

“My parents said, ‘If you would like to, you can do mutton busting if you want.’ And I  said yes,” Katherine said. “I was glad and scared.” 

But now Katherine said she loves riding sheep.  

Jacob Mowen, 7, said getting bucked off the sheep is the best part.

“It wasn’t like painful or anything,” he said. “You went flying off, kind of like down a waterslide.”

At just 6 years old, Ruby Sue is one of the veteran riders in this year’s group. She said she was a mutton buster last year. 

“My favorite part is like soon as you get on the sheep,” Ruby Sue said. “You’re all scared and as soon as you get on it’s fun.”

It’s all part of Smith’s plan to introduce the next generation to the rodeo so they can keep it going for years to come. 

“If you can get them involved and get them to see and interact, they just get hooked and they want to come back forever,” Smith said.