EVENTS & HOLIDAYS

Bit n’ Spur Rodeo celebrates special needs cowboys and cowgirls

Jul 3, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: 12:39 pm

GRANTSVILLE, Utah — The Bit n’ Spur Rodeo in Grantsville kicked off Saturday in a very special way.

A large crowd gathered in the Desert Peak Complex, lining up for stick horse races, tractor rides, livestock, roping, and a popular mechanical bull. These events were all part of the 2nd Annual Bit n’ Spur Special Needs Rodeo.

Kelsey Dorman came with her brother Mark Matthews.

“It’s really fun to see all the kids having fun, and especially Mark. He gets along with everybody, and he has a smile that just lights up the world,” Dorman said.

Matthews got to be a cowboy for a day. Getting up on a horse, he shouted for joy and waved proudly to his family in the stands. He couldn’t stop smiling as he was led around the arena.

Mark Matthews receiving a belt buckle that was donated by the local community. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

These are the moments that directors Marisa and Chad Woolsey have worked hard to create.

“They are smiling. They’re having fun. Their families are watching them. They’re competing. They’re doing their best. It’s just a day about them,” Chad said.

With each event, these special cowboys and cowgirls took center stage and enjoyed every minute of it.

“It gives them an opportunity to really shine and to experience different abilities that they have that they may not have known that they had. And it allows them to be a champion,” Marisa said.

This was Tanna Sundberg’s second year attending, and she came as royalty this time. She proudly wore her Rodeo Queen sash and showed off her crown. She and her mom, Carol Agnew, loved everything about the rodeo.

“It’s so much fun for them, whether they’re in a wheelchair or they don’t understand what they’re doing. It just doesn’t matter. Everyone is here to support them and they have a blast. That’s what it’s all about,” Agnew said.

Tanna Sundberg with her mother Marisa Woolsey. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

Tearing up, Marisa Woolsey expressed how special this event was, “it has helped give not just myself a purpose, but others in our community.”

This year, the community showed their love and support by donating 300 of their own buckles to be awarded to each rodeo participant.

“People are giving up their real championship buckles to pass them on to other champions,” Chad explained.

At the end of the day, everyone, including Matthews and Sundberg, received a medal and got to pick their own championship buckle. Both cheers and tears accompanied the awards; the champions’ joy was contagious.

“Tears of joy,” Agnew said.

“I just, I hope that they leave with memories that last a lifetime,” Woolsey added through watering eyes.

The buckles were such a success the Rodeo plans on asking for donations again next year.

KSL 5 TV Live

Events & Holidays

An aircraft taking off at Skypark Aviation Festival on Jun 1, 2024. (KSL TV)...

Mary Culbertson

Skypark airport wraps its 11th annual aviation festival in style

The Skypark Airport offered its community a chance to see flights up close and even apply for flight school at the 11th annual Skypark Aviation Festival.

14 days ago

The Downtown Farmer's Market opened Saturday morning, an is back for the summer. (Alex Cabrero, KSL...

Carlysle Price

Downtown Farmer’s Market is back with new events this summer

The Downtown Farmer's Market began it's summer season Saturday morning, as it celebrated its 33rd year of supporting local vendors, farmers, and musicians.

15 days ago

Participants walk during the 2023 Utah Pride Parade in downtown Salt Lake City on June 4, 2023....

Carlysle Price

SLCPD on road closures and safety during this weekend’s Pride events

The Utah Pride Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday near Washington Square in downtown. The Salt Lake City Police Department said several roads will be closed for various Pride events.

16 days ago

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: A display of "Hello Kitty" items are seen at a press preview of the "...

Carlysle Price

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is coming to Salt Lake

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is coming to Salt Lake, and will be parked at Fashion Place Mall on May 25.

24 days ago

Ysabelle Cuevas a is a nurse at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and also a also celebra...

Angie Denison and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Pop Star Nurse: Ysabelle Cueva pursues both of her passions

By day, Ysabelle Cuevas is a registered nurse at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. But her other passion is inspiring others with her music.

25 days ago

Khloee’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition where th...

Angie Denison

Khloee’s journey: Overcoming scoliosis with courage and cheer

Khloee’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition where the spine curves abnormally.

26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Bit n’ Spur Rodeo celebrates special needs cowboys and cowgirls