Don't Like Mutton Bustin'? You'll Really Hate Goat Dressing!

Goat dressing at the Colorado Gay Rodeo.
Goat dressing at the Colorado Gay Rodeo. Christopher Morgan
While British prudey-pants party poopers continue to push their petition to ban mutton bustin' at the National Western Stock Show, we're surprised they don't have their knickers in a twist over an event that's a hallmark of gay rodeos around the country: goat dressing.

That activity is included in the Aurora-based International Gay Rodeo Association list of a couple of other special "camp" entertainments, which include steer decorating (close to what you'd think) and the wild drag race (definitely not what you'd think).

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Christopher Morgan
Goat dressing is a two-person event "created specially for gay rodeo," the IGRA advises. "The team stands 50 feet from the point where the goat is tethered. One of the team members has a pair of jockey-style underwear worn over their forearms. When the whistle sounds, the team runs to the goat. The team member without the underwear picks up the goat's rear hooves, grabs the underwear from around the other member's arms, and pulls it up the legs of the goat. Both team members must then race back to the start/finish line and cross the finish line to stop the time. The underwear must stay over the goat's tail bone until the timer is tagged by both members."

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Christopher Morgan
And in case that's not explicit enough, here are the 2017 rules from the International Gay Rodeo Association for goat dressing, right down to the specifications for tighty whities:

Event requires two (2) Judges.

Event is run in heats.

Team event with two (2) contestants on each team.Timer will straddle the start/finish line approximately ten feet (10) to the side of the starting point.

All shorts shall be the same size, style, and breed.

Goats must be adequately spaced to avoid interference. Goats shall be tethered with a ten.foot (10) +/- (plus or minus) three inches (3) soft cotton rope to a weighted object, which the goats cannot drag.

Dog harnesses will be used to tether the goats.

Goats must be held stationary at the point furthest away from the start line.

Contestants competing in subsequent heats shall remain in back of a line that is fifteen feet (15) behind and off to the side of the start/finish line.

Contestants will stand at starting line fifty feet (50) from the point at which the goat is tethered.

Time begins when the start Judge drops the flag and blows the whistle.

Team runs to their goat, and as one member of the team holds the goat, the other team member puts shorts on both back legs with one leg of the goat in each leg hole of the shorts.

Time stops when all four (4) feet of the contestants have crossed the start/finish line.

Each Timer must give a hand signal to the Judge when they stop the time.

Arena Director has sole discretion to change the goat(s) at any time up to a maximum of eight (8) heats.


Throwing the goat or unnecessary roughness.

Both legs of the goat are in one leg of the shorts.

The shorts are not over the tailbone of the goat when contestants cross the finish line.

Crossing the finish line behind the Timer.
So far, the Aurora-based IGRA has not heard from Lambentations, which keeps its campaign focus on alleged sheep abuses.

Despite the Lambentations petitions, the National Western Stock Show has no plans to eliminate mutton bustin', one of the most popular features of the rodeo.

Then again, it also has no plans to add goat dressing to the lineup of events.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun