PENDLETON, Or. - “Look ears,” says 10-year-old Lenny from Pendleton, Oregon as he pets a baby goat.
His mom says he was diagnosed with down syndrome at a young age.
Kids 5 to 10 years old, like Lenny, who have special needs got the opportunity to become cowboys and cowgirls for the day.
Azul Ruiz from Milton Freewater was diagnosed with autism at just 18 months old, her parents say she looks forward to this event every year.
“Just by having this kind of event, it really makes them have a special day and it lasts for the whole year I mean she’s been talking about it since last year,” says Maria Lara Azul’s mother.
The children are able to enjoy all kinds of activities from riding horses, to Native American drumming, riding a pretend bull and much more.
Dozens of volunteers, community members and local cowboys and cowgirls work together to make the Children’s Rodeo a success each year.
A local nonprofit corporation Dreamcatcher says the smiles make it all worth it.
“We provide horseback riding lessons to individuals who have disabilities cognitive emotional physical it’s an opportunity to feel special and be independent and the smiles are worth the miles,” says Morgan Matteson Dreamcatcher Therapeutics.