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Despite rain, young cowboys and cowgirls show off rodeo skills in Clover

The driving rain didn't stop this rodeo.

Despite the steady rain, kids of all ages competed Sunday afternoon during the second day of the Foothills Youth Rodeo Association events in Clover.

"I like riding 'cause it's fun," said Tina Humphries, a 10-year-old from Clover.

Humphries stayed dry with her family and horse under a tent set up alongside B&B Arena. She has been competing for three years in events like pole bending and goat tying, said her father, Michael.

"She loves riding horses, and she's competitive," he said. "Competitions like this bring us together as a family."

Tina has been riding since she was 5. She joined about 100 youths from around the state who compete in monthly rodeo competitions like the one Sunday.

The weekend competition attracted more than 200 entries, said Bart Douglas, president of Foothill Youth Rodeo Association, a nonprofit organization that fosters the sport in the Carolinas.

Douglas grew up on a farm, but he didn't start competing in rodeos until he was 18.

"It became a way of life for me," Douglas said. "We do this to show kids a way of life and keep the heritage and tradition alive. Kids are the future of rodeo."

Events like the one Sunday help teach the children how to do events like breakaway roping and bull riding, Douglas said. It takes about six hours for the children, ages 5 to 18, to compete in all of the events.

Eddie Camp of Pelzer brought his three sons - ages 10, 8 and 6 - to Clover to compete in events that included barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and bull riding.

One of his sons, 6-year-old Patrick Camp, talked about competing while sitting atop his horse.

"I get to ride horses," Patrick said, smiling with a missing front tooth. He has been riding horses his entire life and competing for three years.

"I like pole bending," he said. "It's fun and you get to go real fast."

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