"How 'bout them cowgirls?" Girl power shines at Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo


OKEECHOBEE – Eight-year-old Juliana Martin held fast to a sheep for 4.3 seconds to win the Mutton Bustin’ competition at Saturday’s performance of the Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo. Juliana was all smiles as she accepted the belt buckle prize. It was her second year to compete in the Mutton Bustin’ event.

Eight-year-old Juliana Martin (center) won the Mutton Bustin' event at Saturday's Cowtown Rodeo. She was congratulated by the rodeo queens and princesses.

Another female contestant in Saturday’s rodeo drew a round of applause for her bravery and determination. Jacee Beth Thomas was near her home in Georgia when her car was hit by a train in 2016. She suffered traumatic brain injury and her long recovery continues. Her participation in Saturday’s barrel racing event was inspiring.

Jacee Beth Thomas was among the contestants in the Barrel Racing event on Saturday.

The Cowtown Rodeo continues Sunday, at the Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Rodeo Arena on U.S. 441 N. Gates open at 1 p.m. Mutton Bustin’ starts at 2 p.m. and the PRCA Rodeo starts at 2:30 p.m.