little boy on horse

The Children’s Rodeo is back! After being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, this IMESD annual event returns this year on Thursday, September 15 at 10:30 AM in the Round-Up Arena. The event is sponsored by InterMountain Education Service District (IMESD) and the Pendleton Round-Up Association. 

The Children’s Rodeo provides children with special needs ages 5 through 10 years the opportunity to be cowboys and cowgirls inside the famous Round-Up Arena. About 50 children from around eastern Oregon will be rodeo “contestants” this year. Students from school districts in Baker, Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties are eligible to participate.

The rodeo participants will enjoy various activities that include riding horses, barrel racing on stick ponies, riding a pretend bull, Native American drumming and more. Participants will also be able to enjoy the theme of the day, Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Each participant receives a T-shirt, cowboy hat, lariat, scarf, trophy and a photo with their cowboy volunteer.

Spectators are welcome at the Children’s Rodeo and admission is FREE, but people will need to pay for tickets to the regular Round-Up Rodeo later in the afternoon.

Dozens of volunteers, including PRCA and local cowboys and cowgirls, IMESD volunteers, Round-Up volunteers and community members work to make the Children’s Rodeo a success each year.

“We are very excited to be able to have our event this year and thrilled to welcome our young participants back to the Round-Up Arena! We are thankful to have great support from the Round-Up, local businesses and many community volunteers,” said Children’s Rodeo Director Linda Smith. 

For more information about the Children’s Rodeo, visit the IMESD website: or contact: Director Linda Smith, 541-966-3141,