SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — This Saturday, McCrossan Boys Ranch will host the Xtreme Event Challenge Rodeo. All proceeds will go toward programs to help the at-risk youth at the ranch. Rodeo is a natural fit for the boys at McCrossan since horses make up such a big part of their daily lives.

This isn’t 16-year-old Vince’s first rodeo at McCrossan Boys Ranch.

“I typically try to help out with placing the barrels for the barrel racing and I help with the gates for when we drive the wagon in and I’ll help put up the bull pens,” Vince said.

Vince used to live on a farm and quickly became attached to the draft horses stabled at McCrossan.

“The horses, it’s just one of those animals, you can’t muscle your way through everything. You have to work with them and they’re just animals that reflect you. They’re mirrors, you just gotta work with them,” Vince said.

The special bond forged with horses is basic to the everyday experience among the boys at McCrossan.

“A lot of times, we have kids that come in and they have anger issues or trust issues. They maybe never trusted an adult because they’ve been hurt so many times, but they can build that trust with an animal and then that trust can be built back over to people and it’s a beautiful thing that we get to see out here time and time again,” McCrossan Boys Ranch Director of Development Christy Menning said.

The McCrossan rodeo has been a long time coming. Storms washed-out last year’s event and COVID cancelled the rodeo before that.

“We have what I call the most family-friendly outdoor rodeos in this whole area and so people love it, they miss it and it’s become a family tradition here in Sioux Falls,” Menning said.

Horses will figure into Vince’s future, long after the rodeo. He hopes to enroll at SDSU and study to become a horse trainer, a skill that started here at McCrossan.

“Learned a lot. More than I think I ever would have anywhere else. Been a great help,” Vince said.

Mini-bull riding will be an event new to Saturday evening’s rodeo.

McCrossan is no longer taking ticket orders online or over the phone. Instead, you can purchase tickets at Haegles Western Wear & Tack, or at any Runnings store in Sioux Falls.

You can also buy tickets at the McCrossan visitor center in northwest Sioux Falls.