Santa Barbara County residents and rodeo fans of all ages gathered Sunday to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo.
Among the attendees were young cowboys and cowgirls eagerly awaiting their time to shine in the Mutton Bustin’ competition.
During this competition, the youngsters, usually 4 or 5 years old, attempt to hang on to a rowdy sheep for as long as possible without being thrown off.
The competition is judged by distance, but usually the cowboys and cowgirls only make it a quarter of the way across the arena.
Lucia Smith, 4, of Carpinteria won this year's competition with the farthest ride, gripping onto her sheep with her arms and legs until she was halfway across the Earl Warren Showgrounds arena.
She won a reader contest to represent Noozhawk in Sunday's event and showed no fear as she stepped out into the arena to compete against boys and girls from throughout the Central Coast.
Her confidence paid off in the end when she beat out 14 other cowboys and cowgirls for the coveted first-place slot.
Afterward, when asked how the young cowgirl felt, Lucia simply replied “good” and shyly showed her family and friends her champion belt buckle.
Before her victorious ride, she was also chosen as the event's best-dressed cowgirl.