Nothing portrays the tough, rugged and yet competitive and joyful life of the American West as accurately as the rodeo. While the sport may initially have been “imported” from Spain and Mexico, today it is the official sport of three American states. The sport has emerged from working practices of cattle herders all over the world and tests the mettle of cowboys and cowgirls.
If you haven’t been to the rodeo lately or ever, then consider attending it at least once. It is unlike any other sport you ever seen, played or been to. Rodeo tickets are available here for all of the biggest rodeos in the US, so gets yours now. Some rodeos may even let you live your dream of being a cowboy, if only for a short while.
The Word Rodeo
Rodeo is taken directly from Spanish rodeo that means “round up.” In Spanish America, rodeo was a process used by vaqueros to round up the cattle for a variety of reasons. This skill of rounding up the cattle later led to competitions where such skills were put on display. These competitions then evolved into festivals and today rodeo is one of the most watched sports in some parts of the western United States, western Canada and northern Mexico.
As the white settlements grew in the western United States, cattle herding became the main occupation of the settlers. The skills required to manage horses and cattle led to informal rodeo events in the western United States in the 1820s and 1830s.
Rodeo, however, really took off after the American Civil War. In 1872, one such event took place in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1888, a professional rodeo event was held in Prescott, Arizona, where admission tickets were sold and the winners were awarded trophies.
Rodeos became more entertaining between 1890 and 1910, when in addition to exhibiting cattle round up skills, the competitions also started to offer Wild West shows, which often featured celebrities. By 1910, rodeo had established itself in the western United States and Canada with top rodeos events such as the Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Pendleton Round-Up and the Calgary Stampede. These rodeos still exist and you can attend them with these cheap rodeo tickets in hand.
As cowboys developed rodeo skills according to the climate and terrain, rodeos took many different regional variations. The present day American style professional rodeos comprise the following events: tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and team roping. Some of these events are timed, while the others fall under the rough stock category.
As can be imagined, rodeo events can be dangerous, both for the cowboys/cowgirl and the animals. Therefore, the sport is regulated by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). There are other associations too, which govern collegiate, children’s, high school and senior rodeos. There are separate associations for Native American and other minority groups.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo – Held in Denver, Colorado, this event lasts for almost a month and offers something for everyone in the family. Attracting rodeo fans from all over the world, this event has been there for well over a century and is popularly called the “Super Bowl” of livestock shows. If you are looking for great food, drinks, live music and parades, your quest should end here. In 2018, the rodeo will take place from January 6th to January 21, so mark your calendars.
National Finals Rodeo – There is more to Vegas than just the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street. If you’re in the Sin City, then make sure to mark your calendars for December 7 to December 16, 2017, because that is when this rodeo will be held. If the National Western Stock Show & Radio is called “Super Bowl” of livestock shows then this rodeo is known as the “Super Bowl” of rodeos.
Ellensburg Rodeo – Held typically in early September in Ellensburg, Washington, the Ellensburg Rodeo lasts for five days and offers a variety of events, including a parade and the World Finale of PRCA’s Extreme Bulls Tour. It is held at a time when the famous Kittitas County Fair is in full swing, offering a complete entertainment package for the entire family.
Cheyenne Frontier Days – This one is “The Daddy of ‘Em All.” Held annually in Cheyenne, Wyoming, this mega rodeo event will be held on July 20 and end on July 29, 2018. In other words, its 10 days of rodeo, carnival for the kids, concerts, beer and succulent turkey legs.
Weekly Brothers Davie Pro Rodeo – This rodeo claims, “There Is No Other Rodeo Like It.” It certainly holds true for all rodeo events on the east coast. Held annually in Davie, Florida, the biggest distinguishing feature of this rodeo is that it is held more than once a year. With a great assortment of foods, if you’ve been meaning to take your kids to a rodeo event and find the west too far out, head to Davie instead.
Cheap Rodeo Tickets
While rodeo events have expanded in all four corners of the US, thankfully they haven’t mushroomed, ensuring quality rodeo. However, with more and more events coming out, there is a competition between the organizers, which ensures reasonable rodeo ticket prices. And don’t forget, some events are free to attend.