Yee Haw! It is rodeo time at the national Western Stock Show, held at the Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colorado! The bucking broncos are ready, as well as the strong and skillful cowboys!
There are 16 days of rodeo action at the National Western Stock Show, and we chose a date to see one of the them--the Super Shootout Rodeo comprised of rodeo stars from all around the country and Canada. Are you new to the rules of rodeo? See this page for rodeo 101 rules and skills required for all the rodeo events. Boyd Polhamus was the rodeo Master of Ceremonies and did a wonderful job as usual. He lead the crowd in prayer, then the United States National Anthem was sung.
This collage shows the continuation of the bareback riding cowboy I showed in the first photo.
Their rides are only eight seconds long!
A bareback rider is judged on his spurring technique, the degree to which his toes remain turned out while he is spurring and his exposure or willingness to lean back and take whatever might come during his ride.
This rodeo also had cowgirls performing in the barrel races. Barrel racing requires horse and rider to cross a start line on the run, follow a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels without knocking them over, then dash across the finish line. It take years of practice for rider and horse to perfect speed and accuracy.
In many rodeos there is a pause when children as young as five participate in "mutton racing." The children hold onto the back of a running sheep as long as they can. They are well protected with helmets and face masks. Most children hold on for only about eights seconds. Every child that participates receives a trophy for their effort.s
An event that takes speed, agility and super cowboy, called a bulldogger, strength is steer wrestling. A cowboy races off alongside a running steer, and throws himself off his horse onto the steer and wrestles the steer--which often weighs twice his weight--to the ground. The record for this event is 2.4 seconds! This is rodeo's fastest event. Many of the cowboys we saw during the rodeo we attended had problem either catching the steer or wrestling it to the ground so it is definitely a difficult event. The steer all popped up quickly afterward and were not harmed.
You can see how fast this happens in the Picas auto enhanced motion hoto above.
Rodeo's most dangerous event is bull riding.
Like bareback and saddle bronc riders, a bull rider may use only one hand to stay aboard the bull during his hoped for eight second ride. If he touches the bull or himself with his free hand he receives no score. Riders are judged on their ability to stay aboard the twisting bucking ton of muscle and rage. Balance, flexibility, coordination and fearlessness are the stuff of which good bull riders are made.
It definitely is intense to watch! Many of the riders were thrown off the bulls quickly. I have to give praise to the rodeo "clowns" who rush in to distract the bulls away for a fallen rider to help prevent the rider from being injured by the stomping hooves of the bull.
As you see in this action photo, the bulls spin and kick so quickly!
The clowns are almost as brave and skilled as the riders, without the glory!
The winning team of the Cinch Super Shootout Rodeo by total points for all the events was Calgary Stampede from Alberta, Canada! They were awarded $5,000 each and a wrist watch by Cinch Jeans and Shirts.. The names and home towns of all the team members and all the award winners can be read on this link. Congratulations to all for a job well done!
My husband and I really enjoyed seeing a rodeo and we know it will be something we look forward to seeing in years to come, as well as other National Western Stock Show Events. There are more events happening this week, so if you are in the Denver area check out the schedule and enjoy!
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