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Second-grader is top mutton buster

Weber hangs on tight for state fair title

Staff writer

Tucker Weber climbed up onto the back of his sheep, wrapped his arms around its neck, hooked his feet around the sheep’s belly, and prepared to hold on tight. Really tight.

Tucker, the 2017 mutton bustin’ state champion from Cedar Point, competed against 45 other children from across the state during the Kansas State Fair Mutton Bustin’ Championships after he qualified during Florence Labor Day’s mutton bustin’ competition.

“Tucker had worked hard all year to make it to the state competition and this year was just his year to make it,” said Tucker’s mom, Chelsea Weber.

Kids ages 4 to 7 who weigh less than 60 pounds competed to see who could stay on the back of their sheep the longest.

Tucker, a second-grader, prepared to compete against the others “just by holding on tight,” he said.

Chelsea Weber was at ringside as Tucker held onto his sheep until the buzzer went off. Tucker’s dad, Andrew Weber, was in Texas helping with Hurricane Harvey relief with the Army Corp of Engineers’ emergency operations team.

“Shortly before he stepped out into the arena Tucker was able to speak to his dad and he told him to do his best and hold on tight,” Chelsea said. “Tucker said he would hold on tight and ride until the buzzer went off.”

Tucker did just that, Chelsea said. He scored 95 points in his first round, which qualified him for round two, where he scored 94 points.

“We all had to wait to see if anyone could outride him and they didn’t,” Chelsea said. “He was so happy to win and call his dad and tell him the good news.”

For Tucker, winning feels both good and bad.

“It feels good to be champion, but bad because this is the last year I can ride,” he said.

Now that Tucker has mastered holding onto sheep, Chelsea said he has his eye on mastering bigger, stronger animals.

“We are all so proud of him, and now he is ready to ride bulls at the rodeos,” she said.

In the meantime, Tucker has advice for other kids who are eyeing the mutton bustin’ championship.

“Put your arms around their neck and your feet around their tummy and hook them together,” he said. “Hold on super tight for your wild ride.”

Last modified Sept. 20, 2017

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