Although they’ve been part of American culture for decades, many individuals have never been to a rodeo. With their increasing popularity, some may be interested in going, but a little unsure at what happens. Let us look at a mean rodeo and exactly what the first-time attendee could expect.
First of all, professional rodeos in North America come under the umbrella of both the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). Other governing bodies exist for children’s, high school, college-level, older, Native Americans, and other minority groups.
The events in a contemporary professional rodeo could be split into two classes; rough stock events and timed events. The major rodeo events are:
- Bronc riding – perhaps among the most iconic of the rodeo events. Riders try to remain on the horse for 8 seconds. They are not allowed to touch the horse with their free hand. A maximum of 50 points is given to both the rider and the horse. Both scores are added up for the total with scores from the 80 point range being very good and scores in the 90s being exceptional. Bronc riding is further divided into bareback bronc riding and saddle bronc riding.
- Bull riding – basically the same concept as bronc riding, but due to the size and unpredictability of this animal, bull riding is considerably more dangerous.
Timed Rodeo Events:
- Calf roping – rodeo’s oldest timed event, a cowboy chases after a calf, throws a lariat or lasso around the calf’s neck, dismounts, throws the crab into the ground and then ties 3 of its 4 toes collectively.
- Breakaway roping – a kind of roping in which the calf isn’t thrown to the ground and tied. Rather, a very short rope with a flag attached is attached to the saddle. When the calf is roped, the horse ceases, and the rope “breaks away” from the saddle.
- Team roping – this involves two people lassoing and restraining a full-sized steer. One man will lasso the horns while another lasso the legs. The riders work together so the steer will lose equilibrium and lie.
- Barrel racing – an event based on speed and agility. Barrels are set up in a cloverleaf pattern. Riders will gallop around them as quickly and gracefully as you can without knocking them over.
- Steer wrestling – as it sounds, a rider will leap off his horse, then grab a running steer with their horns and try to wrestle them to the floor. Most likely the most dangerous event in the whole rodeo.
- Goat tying – a rider means a tethered goat, jumps off, and, similar to calf roping, yells the goat to the floor and ties its toes together. Intended for younger participants to obtain skills linked with calf roping, it isn’t part of the actual rodeo competition.
Although not part of this competition itself, lots of rodeos begin with a Grand Entry where passengers taking a variety of flags and banners enter the arena with the playing of the national anthem to follow. Variety acts, including musicians or trick riders, may take part in the rodeo also. Check this Beer garden in Austin tx for more information.
A huge portion of history and American civilization, rodeos are always interesting and frequently fantastic fun – especially once you understand what events to anticipate.
Over the years, Austin’s Rodeo has expanded its programs and attractions and increased its contributions to youth each year. The annual Fair & Rodeo is your organization’s biggest fundraiser but also relies on yearlong events and more than 1,000 volunteers to continue to grow the next generation. Come be a part of real Texas grit… live and hands-on! Looking for rodeo near me? Find out more here.