Welcome to Maui, where the palm trees are lush, the ocean is as blue as the sky above it, the waterfalls flow majestically and....the cowboys run free?
Taking it back about 200 years, the history of “paniolos” (cowboys) runs deep on Maui. When King Kamehameha was first introduced to longhorns for his cattle, the booming world of beef trade, ranching, and rodeo took off. This became a significant moment for the history of Maui because of how passionately the island would make the world of western rodeo their own.
Not many would expect the beautiful tropical paradise that is Maui to have such a booming community of young cowboys and cowgirls riding and roping throughout the slopes of Haleakala. But, within the lush trees and countryside that makes up upcountry Maui, rests a community of passionate young riders who make up the Maui Youth Rodeo Organization.
Photo: Emy-Jo Ferguson
Gear up and get your keiki saddle ready! As a spectacular organization on Maui, MYRO works to help kids around the island who want to get involved and perpetuate the paniolo lifestyle. As a non-profit organization, MYRO raises money through community-powered fundraisers and dedicates the proceeds to youth rodeo events throughout the year. There is no other organization like it on the island.
Young paniolos from the ages of 5 all the way to seniors in high school are welcomed to call MYRO their home and participate in all the programs and events they put on. Whether rodeo is your bloodline tradition passed down from generation to generation or if you’re someone who has never been on a horse in their life, MYRO welcomes all to learn the ropes (pun intended).
If you have never been to an MYRO event, you won’t want to miss one of its most celebrated annual events happening this year. The 5th Annual Spring Spectacular 2020 will be held at Kaonoulu Ranch Kula Arena on March 28th, 2020, 9 am- 3:30 pm. Funds raised from this event will go on to help support current and future young riders in competitions and creating more opportunities for them.
Photo: Emy-Jo Ferguson
Bring the whole ohana for a day of sunshine, rowdy rodeo, live music, and community celebration. Be sure to dress in your western best and channel your inner paniolo for the day. This is perfect for those who are interested in getting involved whether it’s through sponsoring a keiki, donating, volunteering their time, or have kids that want to learn what it’s all about. Although the evening’s event is sold out, the daytime rodeo activities are FREE to spectators!
To learn more about where to donate or how to get involved visit their website https://myro.rodeo/.