Dalton Groves: No bull, at 6 he’s ready to rodeo

Not everyone gets to compete at the American Royal. And certainly, not everyone knows how to ride a sheep.
Dalton Groves will get to do both Sept. 26.
That’s when the Rayville boy leaves the chute saddled to a sheep at the American Royal Rodeo.
Following in the footsteps of his stepfather, Dakota Lorino, Dalton thinks of little else but competing in rodeos, his mother, Mikaela Lorino says.
“His stepfather used to ride in rodeos as a teenager and we found the MOKAN youth rodeo association and started letting Dalton compete in it last March,” she said.

Dalton Groves leaves the chute on a sheep. (Submitted photo)

Dalton Groves leaves the chute on a sheep. (Submitted photo)

Dalton, a kindergartener, turns 6 later this month.
He’ll be competing for cash prizes at the Royal, but it won’t be the first time, his mother said.
“Dalton has already won himself some money and he is working toward winning a belt buckle and possibly even a saddle,” she said. “Dalton also bought himself a pony with the money he won at the rodeos and he trained it himself.”
His mother said sheep-riding is a scaled-down version of rodeo bull-riding.
“The rules to riding a sheep are that he has to stay on and ride the sheep for five seconds with one hand in the air, just like bull riding,” she said. “And yes, the kids can qualify for scholarships and move on to professional  rodeo.”
The family owns sheep that Dalton rides for practice. He also runs barrels and poles on his horse.
The American Royal Invitational Youth Rodeo runs Sept. 23-26 in Hale Arena. Contestants will be competing for $68,500 in scholarship money, as well as cash prizes and awards.
Among others, his parents will be in the stands to cheer him on Sept. 26.
“I am very proud of his accomplishments at such a young age,” his mother said.
– David Knopf,
Richmond News

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