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Students find Wild West show 'awesome'

June 03, 1999

Wild WestBy SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

photo: MARIA BROSE / staff photographer




Some Washington County students had a chance to see some riding, roping and other skills of the old West during a Thursday field trip to Antietam Recreation.

One student said the 1999 Antietam Recreation Horse, Dog and Roping show was "awesome."

Students from Smithsburg Elementary School, along with some youngsters from Hancock Elementary School, were on hand for the show, featuring young cowboys Andy Rotz, 14, and Billy Rotz, 6.

The Rotz boys, along with a boxer, Sparky, an Arabian horse, Idja, and a miniature horse, Trigger Jr., entertained the crowd with tricks and demonstrations of life in the Wild West.

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The boys' mother, Mary, served as the announcer.

The boys learned roping and riding skills from a cowboy and so new tricks were added to their show, Mary Rotz said. This is the first year the show was being presented for school field trips but it has been a tremendous success, she said.

"It was awesome, man," said Rhett Lloyd, 10, a fourth-grade student at Sharpsburg Elementary. "The horses are awesome too. The show was pretty neat."

The students had a good time and learned a great deal, said Faye Slye, Sharpsburg fourth-grade teacher.

"I thought the show was wonderful. It represents a lot of time and practice," she said.

The crowd oohed and aahed as Idja shook hands, smiled and appeared to count and Sparky did tricks such as finding missing keys and jumping over the miniature horse.

"It was great. It was neat how they learned all that stuff," said Clara McCrossin, 10.

Andy did his own tricks, including seeing how many students could fit under a rope he was spinning in a large loop. More than 15 students fit.

He also used a bullwhip to slice a newspaper into eighths and lassoed a running student.

"It was good. I like when Andy rode the horse standing up," said Emily Kilpatrick, 9.

Ricky Poole, 11, said one of his favorite parts was when Andy jumped under his spinning rope while blindfolded.

"I like this place because it has a lot of cool stuff," Poole said.

Antietam Recreation on Garis Shop Road near Funkstown is an outdoor recreation center geared toward youngsters.

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