The first Kids Rodeo was staged in La Junta in 1938 by Publisher Ralph R. Wheeler and the La Junta Democrat sponsoring the show. Wheeler, a marine veteran of World War I, turned to the American Legion for help, and by the time the fourth Kids Rodeo was announced the show had become a Legion Sponsored production.
So it remained for 13 exciting and successful years. Even during the war the Kids Rodeo was produced every year. Many a service man recalls seeing the kids bust cows in La Junta at Potter Park, where the first rodeos were held.
In 1955, the La Junta Chamber of Commerce took the helm with Charley Herman as chairman. For the first time since the show was started, the Kids Rodeo was moved from Potter Park in La Junta to a new site at the airbase. During the next few years, changes were made to the format of the Kids Rodeo, but it has remained a Rodeo and Race Meet for youth from ages 6 through 17.
La Junta Kids Rodeo and Race Meet was incorporated in 1994 and is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors dedicated to putting on the best performance as possible. Production of each rodeo event requires the dedication of many people, and to name everyone who has helped through the years would take pages. We wish to extend a hearty thank you to all our sponsors and volunteers who have helped with another successful La Junta Kids Rodeo and Race Meet.