Courtesy of the Moravia Union
Moravia kindergartener Kaeson Beals is a normal, active, lively little five-year-old boy. He’s also the newest National Champion in the PeeWee division of the Tuff-n-Nuff Miniature Rodeo Association for both bullriding and bareback riding titles.
Beals is the son of Colton and Ashley Beals of Moravia, and his parents couldn’t be prouder.
Last September, Kaeson, who was already leading the standings in both events from rodeo competitions all over Iowa and several surrounding states, competed in the National Finals. They were held in Mason City, and included 14 top competitors in the PeeWee bracket. Although little Kaeson is actually in the age 2-5 division, known as Tiny Tots, he received special permission from the governing body to compete in the next higher bracket, and took top honors over youngsters who were all 6-7 years old. He came out on top in both of his favorite events.
These competitions are not hobby horse caliber. The little ones ride 900-1,000 lb. full-grown, adult miniature bulls with real horns and humps. The stock provider for these rodeos is careful to choose age-appropriate animals which challenge the riders without undo danger. The motto of the association is “building confidence one ride at a time” and Colton says that is exactly what the sport has done for his young son.
Kaeson’s grandfather, Larry Beals, better known as “Papa Larry,” was a bullrider and is his grandson’s mentor and inspiration. Kaeson makes it clear that he plans to win as many buckles as his grandfather has, and he’s already got a good start, with a collection of six, plus two saddles, and over $2,000 in winnings so far.
Colton says the boy is saving his money for a trip to Disney World. Next year, Kaeson will be old enough to compete in the World Finals in Las Vegas, where both the stock and the competition will be even tougher, but the purses will be much larger, as much as $20,000 or more. It’s a goal Kaeson hopes to qualify for in the next several months. The family travels with him to rodeos every couple of weeks for most of the year, and he is currently leading the Winners’ Series.
Beals even has his own Facebook page, @kowboykaeson, where his family posts photos and videos of his competitions. The video of one of his most recent rides showed his own personal form of riding and has already received over 20,000 views.
At the TMRA’s year-end banquet last weekend, Kaeson received the two handsome saddles and the prize buckles, which he won during the National Finals.
Kaeson Beals also wrestles for the Little Mohawks.