Sixteen-year-old Trevor Wharton of Mineral Wells sat on his horse Bomber and waited.

Wearing a cowboy hat, gloves and holding a green loop of rope, he looked at home in the saddle and ready for the moment when he and his partner would burst out of the gate in chase of a calf to rope.

A few minutes later, Katey Anthony of Jal in southeast New Mexico was in the line-up, sitting on her horse, Frank, and waiting her turn to rope.

Team roping was on the schedule Tuesday morning, the first official day of the American Junior Rodeo Association finals and the first time the event has come to Glen Rose. The AJRA is one of the largest shows to be held at the Somervell County Expo and is expected to give the local economy a much-needed boost.†

Billy Huckaby, director of the Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau, said about 500 people are expected to be in town this week for the event, which runs through Saturday night.

AJRA is modeled after the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, but itís for boys and girls under 20 years old. Founded on Christian principles, the associationís members are expected to exhibit strong character as they compete.

Contestants participate in rodeos all season and accumulate points to get into the finals and determine who will be the year-end champions. Events include team roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, ribbon roping, bronc riding and bull riding.

Morning performances start at 9 a.m. and evening performances at 7 p.m. On Saturday short-go performances are at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The auction Saturday at 8 p.m. also is open to the public.

This the first year the AJRA has held its finals in Glen Rose. Previously, the competition was staged in San Angelo. The Glen Rose CVB, Expo and Somervell County Commissioners Court joined forces to attract the show to the community, with the county paying for additional RV spaces the event needed.

For more information, call the Expo at 897-4509 or visit www.glenroseexpo.org or www.ajra.org.