Oklahoma’s youngest rodeo stars showed their skills this weekend at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Hundreds of junior high and high school cowboys and cowgirls began their spring break with the annual Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association Spring Break Bash.
Sterling Lee, 19, of Gotebo, and Greg Muck, 17, of Elk City, both competed Saturday afternoon in an event known as steer wrestling, otherwise known as bulldogging.
Bulldogging begins with two riders dashing out of the box with a steer. One of the riders, known as the hazer, ensures that the steer runs  in a straight path. It’s the second rider’s job to wrestle the steer.
“You run down on your horse, and you slide off onto the steer’s back,” Lee said. “Then you grab them by the horns and slam them to the ground.”
Lee and Muck said they have each been steer wrestling since they were in the eighth grade, they met while training in Elk City.
Muck said he first became interested in rodeo when he was in the sixth grade. But for Lee, the rodeo has always been a part of his life. He was homeschooled until the fourth grade because he was traveling the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit with his father, who was a team roper.
Muck said he likes steer wrestling because it is a such a hands-on sport.
“It’s one of the bigger, badder sports in the rodeo circuit,” Muck said. “And if you don’t know how to swing a rope, it’s one of the only events you can do!”
Lee said steer wrestling is currently one of the fastest growing events in rodeo.
“Most people are either team roping or calf roping, but now we’re starting to see more and more steer wrestlers coming in,” Lee said. “It’s good for the sport and the event.
Muck said that while their scores on Saturday were less than desirable, they’re ready to give it another try today, the final day of the event.
“We didn’t do real well today, but we’re ready for tomorrow,” Muck said.