By Greg Ritchie
HOUSTON COUNTY – This week marks the 15th annual Youth Bull Riders World Finals in Abilene. The competition runs from Wednesday, Aug. 3 through Saturday Aug. 6. The Youth Bull Riders (YRB) is a non profit based in Forth Worth. Dozens of children will be competing this week, coming from all over the state of Texas.
Houston County is also sending one of its best. Six-year-old Roper Munsinger has become a celebrity locally riding sheep and entertaining everyone who meets him with his unique talent and sense of humor.
Roper’s father Anthony said a total of 62 kids have qualified to compete in Abilene this week.
“It’s 19 and younger,” Munsinger explained. “There are different age groups all in between. They ride sheep, calves, steers, bulls – all the way to the age of 19.”
Asked if he worries about Roper getting hurt riding the sheep, Munsinger exclaimed, “Not him!”
Roper himself appears fearless although he admits he is nervous.
“Yes, but my dad taught me if you’re not nervous you can’t make any fun!” Roper explained.
Roper will soon be heading to the first grade. The big change from kindergarten also doesn’t worry him.
“I like school and I have a bunch of friends!”
The Munsinger family has a long history of being involved in the rodeos.
“We do all kinds of rodeo stuff,” Munsinger Sr. said. “Roper runs barrels and poles and does all that stuff too. His older brothers ride bulls. I have an 18 year old and a 15 year old that rides bulls.”
Roper’s brother Thomas participated in the recent FFA convention in Fort Worth representing Kennard in the team roping event.
Best wishes to the Munsinger family as they trek to Abilene and back this week. Good luck to young Roper as well.
When asked how he gets ready for each competition, Roper answered, “I like to nap a little. And pray.”
Greg Ritchie can be reached at email@example.com