Rodeo tradition in LaBelle
Landon Henderson and his sister are a sibling duo that have been competing in rodeo's since they were 2-years-old. Coming back to LaBelle every year for its rodeo is a tradition that's near to their hearts because their great grandfather was one of the original people who started the event.
"It's a family deal, it's the way rodeo pretty much is ... it's a family thing," Henderson said. "It's the way of life, it's the only thing we've ever known really."
The LaBelle Rodeo has been held for the past 62 years. It's the oldest consecutive rodeo in Missouri and helping to keep that going is the LaBelle Rodeo Association.
"It's a lot of work," Denny Scifres, LaBelle Rodeo Association president, said. "We got quite a few members that help out, we got a lot of volunteers that help out and getting everything set up as far as the ground and the shack and the whole thing."
"It's really wonderful to have a community that sticks together and wants to carry on a tradition," Laura Anania, a LaBelle Rodeo Association member said.
Still, this rodeo isn't all about tradition, it's also about keeping skills fresh.
"These are still skills that people use everyday on the farm if they have cows, if they have horses ... you have to learn how to throw a rope," Anania said. "It's just important to keep these skills alive."
And of course practicing those skills is more fun when you have your little sister by your side.
"It's cool seeing her growing up and doing the same things I use to do when I was that age," Henderson said.
LaBelle throws a full scale rodeo that has nine events like steer wrestling, calf roping, and barrel racing. Rodeo performances start Friday and Saturday at eight 8 p.m. at the LaBelle Rodeo Arena.