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RODEO EVENTS: Tour, Schedule, Tickets and more...
The rodeo is a sport derived from American cowboys, wherein players compete in an array of variable riding and roping contests. It was built, in part, to bring attention to the cattle industry in North America—primarily in Mexico, United States, and western Canada—but this sport is known globally. The coleos of Colombia and Venezuela and the charreadas of Mexico are similar sports. What differentiates the rodeo is that its events are timed...
The roots of the rodeo can be traced back to the 19th century, wherein Americans borrowed ideas from Spanish and Mexican predecessors. When rounding up open-range cattle became a rarity, cowboys lost their occupation, so it transitioned into a form of entertainment. One of the earliest rodeos was played in Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1872. Early shows like the Cheyenne displayed the riding and roping capabilities of cowboys; the affair has transformed drastically over the years. As early as 1880, Wild West shows were invented, featuring sportier characteristics and showmanship. These events started to include public advertisements, winners’ prizes, official venues, and admission fees. These elements started to carve out the rodeo as a sport, an extreme sport at that. Unlike many earlier sports in America and abroad, the rodeo has always had notable diversity in its competitor lineup—despite social and political inequalities—including Hispanic, Native American, African American, and women contestants, such as Vicente Oropeza, Bill Pickett, and Bertha Blancett.
After World War II through today, the rodeo has solidified its position as both a sport and a unique entertainment feature of American culture. The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) was established in Walla Walla, Washington. Today, they hold at least 100 college rodeos annually, organizing nearly 4,000 students from 135 colleges. Many rodeos today have five core components: saddle-bronc riding, calf roping, bareback-bronc riding, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Two of these events are based on practical work that cowboys did back in the day. Other events, such as trick riding, are crowd pleasers, but they are not a part of many rodeos.
Although the rodeo may not be the most talked about sport, it has a reputation. In 2007, Joe Drape of The New York Times called it “America’s original extreme sport.” Research done by sports epidemiologist Dale Butterwick has similar findings from 2011 and 2018, using his database to show that the rodeo is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. It must have something to do with using temperamental, moving, weighty animals. If you’ve never heard about rodeos till now or if you’ve been wanting to see one your whole life, now is the time to do it. Some of the most popular shows can be found in Texas, Colorado, Washington, and Nevada.
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Rodeo Schedule & Shows
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