Boy seeks edge on Mutton Bustin' competitors with homemade simulator

RICHMOND, TX (KTRK) -- The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is now accepting applications for the ever popular Mutton Bustin' competition. A kid in Fort Bend County may have the upper hand on his competitors. He's been able to practice on a homemade simulator.

The inventor, dad, said it was either the homemade device or an actual sheep and he said his HOA would not allow that option.

Rain or shine, you can find 4-year-old Tiago training for the ride of his life. He climbs on a makeshift sheep in his backyard and hangs on tight all the while his parents pull on some straps.

"They're loose enough for us to pull on them, and I pull as hard as I can until he falls off," said Tiago's mom, Cori Cortez.

They tug on them just hard enough to give Tiago the full effect of what it may feel like to do the Mutton Bustin' competition. After three weeks of training at home, Tiago was able to ride a sheep for the first time at the Fort Bend County Fair.

"I hang onto the side, (and) then I try to hang on to his neck and then, poof, I fall off," said Tiago.

Tiago is on a quest to hang on longer for the Mutton Bustin' competition at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

"Try hard that I never fall off," said Tiago.

The invention is the work of dad, Rumaldo Cortez.

"Well, it was either my back or a simulated sheep," said dad.

Now that Tiago knows what its like to ride on the back of a sheep, dad said he's already plotting up new ideas to tweak his invention and maybe more.

"Putting some springs instead of the straps," he said. "I never thought of a patent, however if it's the right time and opportunity (I will)," said dad.

As for little Tiago, he's just along for the ride.
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