ODESSA -- For 20 years, the Sandhills Special Kids Rodeo has given children with physical and mental disabilities the chance to ride horses and take part in other rodeo fun.
“These kids are all really special kids,” event organizer Jay Lindsey said. “As you’re around here, you’ll see some of them just get so excited they just can’t stand themselves.”
Jason and Esmeralda Pineda said that the event is a blessing for them and daughter Serenity, who has cerebral palsy.
“It’s pretty awesome to come out and be around other parents that are going through similar situations,” Jason Pineda said. “Just giving her a chance, and seeing all the other kids that usually don’t get to have a day of their own due to disabilities.”
Children without special needs were also welcome at the event, and shared in the western-themed fun.
All the people working the event were volunteers, and several restaurants donated plenty of free food and drinks for everyone.
“It just really touches my heart to see these people and the openness they have, and doing it out of their heart,” Lindsey said.
“Already we spend a lot financially with a child that’s disabled,” Pineda said. “Wheelchairs, medical expenses, and travel. Today you don’t have to worry about anything other than coming in and smiling and having a good time.”