Olivia Rasp of Keller and her miniature horse, Hunter, didn’t look worried Thursday in their first competition at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Mother Kerry Rasp was a different story.
“I’m really nervous,” Kerry Rasp said as they prepared for the first day of competition in miniature horses. “There are a lot of firsts for [Hunter], but he’s a good guy.”
Her 13-year-old daughter was calm, and so was her bighearted miniature, a 3-year-old gelding who is just a tad bigger than a living room coffee table. The two are rather new on the competition circuit.
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“We all have made mistakes,” Olivia Rasp said. “So I don’t get nervous anymore.”
More than 50 miniature horses, some as small as 27 inches tall, competed Thursday on the seventh day of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. A second day of competition for the horses is Friday.
Tony Greaves of Buda has seen his share of first-time competitors like the Rasp family. Greaves, the owner of Little America Miniature Horses just south of Austin, has been to every miniature horse competition at the Stock Show. That’s about 35 years.
Raising the cute animals is not just for kids, Greaves said. He’s at the Stock Show with nine miniature horses from his ranch, where he has more than 170. “An adult might get started because they figure they’re getting too old and they don’t want to get hurt working with the big horses.”
The fact that the Rasp family is into horses isn’t a big surprise. Kerry Rasp grew up in Kentucky and has competed as a barrel racer.
At one time, her daughter was interested in quarter horses. She fell in love with miniatures about two years ago.
“She was asked if she wouldn’t mind showing a miniature horse in a youth group as a favor because they needed someone,” Kerry Rasp said.
Olivia Rasp said it just took that one competition to get hooked.
“I loved it,” she said. “I’m showing Hunter, but I’m already getting another one.”
Hunter was in two competition classes Thursday and has two more Friday.
Garth Brooks would probably smile at one of Hunter’s classes, called the liberty. A horse is set free in the arena for 90 seconds as a song of the owner’s selection is played. At the end of the time, handlers have 60 seconds to corral their horse. Olivia Rasp selected Ain’t Goin Down til the Sun Comes Up by Brooks.
Greaves said the interest in miniature horses has been high, noting that in the past few months he has sold at least 10.
“These horses are like Lay’s potato chips,” Greaves said. “No one can have just one.”
The Fort Worth Stock Show continues through Feb. 4 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, Lancaster Avenue and University Drive, just west of downtown.
Details: 817-877-2400 or www.fwssr.com. Mobile apps are available for Apple and Android devices.
Grounds admission: $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-16; free for children 5 and under
Rodeo tickets: $28 on Friday nights, weekends and some special events; $20 on weekdays. Rodeo tickets are good for general admission to the Stock Show the same day. Discounts are available for grounds admission and rodeo tickets for Star-Telegram Press Pass holders.
Advance tickets: The office, at 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; 817-877-2420.
Parking: $10 per vehicle
Take the Rodeo Redline: On Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can take $5 shuttles — called the Rodeo Redline — from the parking lot just north of Billy Bob’s Texas in the Stockyards. Buses run every 30 minutes, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.
Information booths: In the main concourse of the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall and the Richardson-Bass Building, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.
Shopping: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall and the Brown-Lupton Exhibits Hall (north and south).
9 a.m. Mustang Magic, presented by Lone Star Ag Credit – Trainers Challenge – Coliseum
9 a.m. Miniature Horse Classes – Justin Arena
Noon Best of the West Angus Bull Sale – West Arena
Noon Junior Heifer Registration Verification – Watt Arena Concourse
6 p.m. Mustang Magic, presented by Lone Star Ag Credit – Trainers Challenge – Justin Arena
7 p.m. Heifer Superintendent’s Beef Challenge – French Room, Watt Arena
7:30 p.m. World’s Original Indoor Rodeo – Coliseum
8 a.m. Donkey and Mule Classes – Justin Arena
8 a.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Brangus – Watt Arena, East Ring
8 a.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Shorthorn – Watt Arena, West Ring
8 a.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Maine-Anjou – Cattle Arena
8 a.m. National Dorper Sheep Show – Open Show – Sheep Arena
9 a.m. Poultry Show – Youth Division – Poultry Building
9:30 a.m. District IV 4-H Range and Pasture Plant Identification Contest – Botanical Research Institute of Texas
10 a.m. World’s Original Indoor Rodeo – Coliseum
Noon Stars of Texas Angus Female Sale – West Arena
12:30 p.m. 4-H and FFA Range and Pasture Plant Identification Contest – Botanical Research
Institute of Texas
1 p.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Beefmaster – Watt Arena, East Ring
1 p.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Polled Hereford followed by Hereford – Watt Arena, West Ring
1 p.m. Junior Breeding Beef Heifer Show – Charolais – Cattle Arena
2 p.m. Delaine-Merino, Rambouillet, Dorset followed by Hampshire Sheep – Open Show – Sheep
2 p.m. World’s Original Indoor Rodeo – Coliseum
4 p.m. Texas Limousin Association’s Lone Star Shoot Out – Cattle Arena
6 p.m. Mustang Magic, presented by Lone Star Ag Credit – Trainers Challenge