Every afternoon when the school bell rings in Lamont, Calif. fourth-grader David Clark runs home, slips into his Levis, dons his ten-gallon hat and heads for the old corral to practice bareback riding and calf roping. At the age of 10, this ambitious son of Rodeo Clown and Ranch Owner Gene Clark not only is one of the youngest active cowboys in the country but is also a pioneer in a brand-new sport: little league rodeo.
David joined his father's rodeo act eight years ago at the age of 2. Five years later he was winning cheers from the crowd by riding calves out of the arena after the grown-up cowboys had roped them. David got such a kick out of the game that his father decided to organize a full-fledged rodeo for youngsters like him. To Clark's surprise more than 80 whooping, hollering pre-teen buckaroos turned out to compete. Last month, at the third "buckaroodeo," the number of competitors had grown to 200, and Promoter Clark hopes that in future years there will be still more. As for David, all he wants is to grow up fast so he can perform in real rodeos.