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Upcoming Youth Rodeo in Potter Aims to Raise Self-Harm Awareness

On August 12, the second annual Clint "Gus" McCrea Memorial Youth Bull Riding competition will be held in Potter. The all-day event will happen on route 77 between I-80 and Highway 30. The event is held to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm in the Rodeo and Bull-Riding Community, and is named for Clinton McCrea of Potter, who passed away on March 31, 2019.

The event is for youth Bull riders between the ages of 2 and 19 years of age. Event organizer Charlie Willis said that they are trying to build up youth Rodeo and Bull Riding events in Colorado and Wyoming, as well as here locally. She also said that there has been an underlying and alarming trend of self-harm and suicide in the riding community, and the Memorial Youth Bull Riding event is a great way to raise awareness about this problem.

Willis called the event a "good time rodeo" and noted they had a great turnout last year at the first event. Besides building up the Bull Riding community in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, the event is a great way to raise awareness on the issue of suicide and self-harm. With the slogan "It is OK to not be ok--you're not alone", the event will help those in the community that feel isolated or are struggling with mental health issues.

The event has attracted a number of sponsors looking to help get the word out about the problem of suicide and self-harm in the agricultural community. Grace For 2 Brothers is a non-profit organization providing edu-cation, intervention and re-sources to individuals needing mental health assistance and facilities support to persons impacted by suicide in Wyoming. Jeremy Bay of Grace For 2 Brothers said, "We choose to sponsor and participate in this event because we know that those in the agriculture (ranch, farm, rodeo) typically have high rate of suicide and mental health challenges.  This event gives us the opportunity to connect with those that might be struggling on their own turf while being part of something that they enjoy. In addition, for those attending the event that live and work in Wyoming, through the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and USDA we are able to offer funding for those that are uninsured or underinsured to receive mental healthcare at no-cost."

Willis said, "this is a great event and open to everybody. The winners receive buckles and it get youngsters involved and excited about bull riding and rodeo. We are currently trying to secure some food vendors for the event, so it will be a great time on August 12."

The event promises to be a great time, and honor the tradition of rodeo and bull-riding in the panhandle and surrounding states. The classes are divided by age; the Walk-Trot for ages 2 through 6, Calves for ages 7 and 8, the Junior Mini's between ages 9 and 11, the Senior Mini's between 12 and 13, the Junior Bulls between 14 and 15 and the Senior Bulls for ages 16 through 19.

Come out for a day of exciting Bull Riding and cheer on your neighbors and fellow Cheyenne County residents for a great cause.


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