The Rodeo Cowboy

101 Wild West Rodeo

   

 

   

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The 58th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo

June 8 - 10, 2017

Website will be updated as information becomes available.

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Work Sessions

Work will continue through this year and next on improvements to the 101 Wild West Rodeo Arena, watch here for upcoming dates. Volunteers are always welcome.

   

 

   

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The Rodeo Cowboy

 

To spectators in the grandstands, the rodeo cowboy might seem the embodiment of a fading American dream, a rugged individual with no bosses to answer to, no time clocks to punch, no rigid workday schedules to follow.

 

All that may be true. But rodeo life is also tough, a long shot at fame and fortune and a better shot at broken bones and long roads.

 

Events sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association comprise one of the fastest-growing sports in America. But, to the cowboys and cowgirls who compete, rodeo is more than a sport – it’s a lifestyle that offers heartbreak and reward in equal measures. The cowboy doesn’t compete at rodeo as much as he lives it.

 

The most successful cowboys – those who finish in the Top 15 and qualify for the National Finals Rodeo – might travel to as many as 125 rodeos per year, covering perhaps 100,000 miles.

 

Ask a cowboy why he competes, and he might shrug and answer, “Why not?”

Rodeo encompasses the attributes America covets in its sports – explosive action, danger, extraordinary skill and refined talent – and the cowboys who ride are some of the most rugged individualists in athletics.

 

Cowboys still drive pickups, still work cattle, still say “ma’am” and “sir,” and still wear jeans and boots. But today’s cowboy is a businessman as well as an athlete, as likely to have refined his skills at a rodeo school as on a ranch.

 

They pursue glory in the dust and mud of rodeo arenas across North America. But, unlike other professional athletes, the rodeo cowboy must pay to compete. Every rodeo requires an entry fee, which guarantees only a promise to compete for prize money. One missed throw, one slipped grip and the cowboy doesn’t even recoup his entry fee.

 

While many traditions of rodeo remain intact, some innovations by today’s rodeo cowboy have improved competition conditions and the cowboys’ opportunity to make a living in the arena. One of those changes is the PRCA’s buddy system, a concept that allows rodeo partners to travel together and to compete at rodeos during the same performance.

 

Rodeo is demanding. But the life of the American cowboy has never been easy.

Professional rodeo is the only American sport that evolved from skills required in a work situation, and it’s one of the most punishing sports in the world. The events of professional rodeo were drawn directly from the tasks of the range cowboy – primarily roping calves and riding broncs. The typical cowboy of the 19th century worked 18-hour days, seven days per week. And on any given day, he might be thrown from a horse or charged by a wild steer.

 

The demands faced by today’s rodeo cowboy are different, but no less daunting. Behind every eight-second ride and every cheering crowd are countless hours of traveling and competing.

 

But the cowboy’s life is a special one, envied by many and experienced by few.

 

   
 
 
   
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