World's Toughest Rodeo hits Xcel on heels of "Cowboy Camp"

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Photos by Nikki Miller
The World's Toughest Rodeo returns to the Xcel tonight and Saturday, with a special performance by up-and-coming chart-climber Jerrod Niemann after Saturday night's barrel racing and bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding (7:30, $10-78).

The Rodeo invited us down on Thursday for "Cowboy Camp" and a preview of the rodeo stars of tomorrow. Well, not quite tomorrow; give 'em a few years. Prepare to view some photos and video clips of some of the cutest kids you'll ever see stompin' around on a million tons of dirt.

A couple dozen lucky K102 contest winners and their folks assembled on the rodeo floor to learn from real life cowboys, cowgals and rodeo personalities how to properly ride a bull and pony, lasso a steer, barrel race, and rodeo-clown around. Upon graduation, the 5-9 year olds received a cowboy hat, special badge, bandana, official "Cowboy Camp" graduation certificate, and a ticket to return to the rodeo on Friday night to see how the big kids ride the big bulls.

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Check back on Monday for a full slideshow, including shots from Friday night's rodeo.


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