PAOLA — There were some daring rides in the annual Mutton Bustin event at the Miami County Fair.
Brantley Kapas, 7, Paola, had an incredible ride, placing first place in the 6- and 7-year-old division. It was his first time to compete in the event.
Alex Eble, 5, Paola, turned in the top ride in the 4- and 5-year-old division, and the crowd let her hear about it.
Kapas did it in style, winning the event on the final ride of the 6- and 7-year-old division before a huge crowd at the arena. He put in his five-second ride and scored 67 points from the judges.
Eble rode the sheep from one side of the arena to the other with thunderous applause from the crowd. She had the first five-second ride of the performance and scored 85 points to end up winning it all. Eble’s score was the top one recorded for the entire evening in either division.
Briar Scherman, 7, Paola, and Shane Roth, 7, Paola, tied for second place in the 6- and 7-year-old division with identical scores of 45.
Paxton Shay, 5, Spring Hill, was second in the 4- and 5-year-old division. Rhett Madden, 5, Fontana, finished third.
It was an exciting end to the 4- and 5-year-old division with Shay and Madden riding into the top three on two of the final three performances in the division.
Shay scored 70 points on his ride, holding off Madden for second place by just two points. Madden had a 68 from the judges.
Banks Gracy, 6, started the competition off with a hard ride right out of the gate. He got sideways on his sheep and held on tight until finally falling on the arena dirt.
Harper Sterk, 7, Paola, had a rough ride, leaving with some of the arena dirt on his brave ride.
Early on in the show the sheep were winning with rider after rider failing to put in five-second rides.
Cade Hensley, 7, Paola, rode out like a cowboy, riding one-handed for his performance.
Jared King, 6, Spring Hill, lost his helmet, but held on during a rough ride.
Zander Lovig, 7, Paola, was back for another year of competition. He had a good, hard draw with his sheep that zigged and zagged all over the arena.
Wayland Bonecutter, 4, Paola, sported a cowboy hat for his ride through the arena. Bonecutter and his sheep left a trail of dust in the arena as they rode off into the sunset, but he kept his shoes on and didn’t lose his hat.
Honor Gilpin, 7, Osawatomie, got sideways, fought to hold on, but fell off the right side of her sheep.
Braelynn Reed, 6, Louisburg, went for a hard fall at the end of his ride, landing head first. He sported a blue vest and tan chaps for his ride.
Cinch Hendrickson, 6, Garnett, sported a popsicle –themed mask for his ride on the sheep.
Taelyn Ford, 4, Parker, rode with girl power with her pink helmet. She leaned way back on her sheep, trying to stay on. But it would prove to be a losing battle for Ford, who rode hard in the event.
Ivan “The Silver Bullet,” Russell, 4, Paola, brought a fan club with him to the arena for his performance.
Callie Hart, 5, Paola, took off on a sheep with an impressive ride, going one-handed on the rope.
Jace Fletcher, 4, Paola, wore a green and black spiked helmet for his ride.
McKade Chadwick, 5, Paola; Maddix Brown, 4, Paola; and Gannon Stocksen, 4, Paola, wore Spider-Man helmets.
Shaelyn Way, 4, Paola, rode with a pink softball helmet.
Bo Stewart, 4, Paola, had a hard fall on his ride, but got up to the applause of the crowd and waved.
Wyatt Sterk, 4, Paola, was another one of the young riders with a rough ending. He hit hard, but got up and got a medal for his performance. Sterk got on the side of his sheep and then went under as the sheep ran over the top of him. He shook it off and got a hand from the crowd.
Elijah Magee, 5, Paola, had one incredibly athletic sheep for his ride. He was knocked off the sheep. The sheep then leapt through the air like a bareback horse and then took off. The sheep just shot off like a rocket.
Amy Espinoza-Parks, 4, Osawatomie, kept her focus, despite losing one of her shoes. She kept holding on and riding for everything she had. When the ride was over, she calmly picked up her shoe and picked up her medal.
Easton Dees, 5, La Cygne, wore a cowboy hat and rode one-handed.
Other riders in the 6- and 7-year-old division were: Allen Brewer, 6, Paola; Maddie Hudson, 7, Paola; Corbin Clearwater, 6, Osawatomie; Elliott Yates, 6, Paola; Gunner Zimberland, 7; Matthew Kwick, 7, Osawatomie; Koehn White, 7, Raymore, Mo.; Brayden Mots, 7, Paola; Miles Ford, 6, Parker; Kelly Deason, 7, Olathe; Wyian Thornberg, 6, Paola; Jesaleigh Wicker, 6, Osawatomie; and Charlie Wyer, 6.
Also riding in the 4- and 5-year-old division were: Cooper Hickman, 4, Paola; Wyatt Bonecutter, 4, Paola; Ellery kirk, 4, Paola; Talon Locke, 4, Paola; Oakleigh Locke, 5, Paola; Kaseyn Way, 5, Paola; Braxton Pope, 4, Osawatomie; Levi Sloan, 5, Wellsville; Brantley Pope, 4, Osawatomie; Declan Bowen, 4, Louisburg; Gentry Marsh, 5, Osawatomie; Max McCrea, 4, Osawatomie; Alex Hardwick, 5, Paola; Ella Burchett, 5, Paola; Corlynn Thornberg, 4, Paola; Henson Carter, 4, Osawatomie; Jackson Ballou, 5, Garnett; Johnathan Clark, 5; Jasper Ballou, 4, Garnett; Eden Burbank, 5; Cooper Timken, 5, Wellsville; Karson McGaughey, 5, Freeman, Mo., Reid Clinton, 4, Paola; Maddix Brown, 4, Paola; Charles Knudsen, 5, Spring Hill; Jace Slyter, 5, Paola; Elouise Commons, 5, Louisburg; and Rheaden Shaver, 4, Paola.