Monday, August 6, 2012

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo's

Frontier Days is known for its rodeo.  This is the largest, outdoor rodeo in the U.S.  We went to 2 rodeo's and I believe this was one of the best rodeo's I have seen.  The quality of both the participants and the rodeo stock was so much better than most of the smaller rodeo's I attend.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the smaller rodeo's, but this one was great!
They had a new stock provider this year.  He is also the stock provider for the Pro Rodeo Nationals in Las Vegas.  His bulls are 200-300 pounds larger than most rodeo bulls.  The first rodeo we attended, only 2 people managed to stay on for the required 8 seconds.  

One of my favorites was steer wrestling.  A cowboy rides along side the steer (about 700 pounds), while his partner is trying to keep the steer from bolting out of the way.  When the cowboy gets close, he jumps off his horse and grabs the steer by the horns.

This is a timed event, with the winner having the best time.  The timing stops when the cowboy  wrestles the steer down to the ground.  The steer must have all 4 legs out from underneath him and must be on his side.

In this case, the cowboy missed and once the cowboy lets go, he can't grab hold of the steer again.  The first rodeo went pretty well, with several of the cowboys managing to get their steer on the ground in 17-18 seconds.  But the second rodeo not one cowboy managed to get his steer down.  I believe the winning times were in the 11-12 second range.  Again, they mentioned these steers are about 100 pounds larger than normal.

There was bareback riding too.  One poor guy had three rerides (a reride is when his horse doesn't cooperate and buck like he should), and when he finally got a good horse, he only stayed on several seconds.

We also were entertained by this champion competition trick roper.  He was very good, but I'm not sure he was as good as the roper we had for entertainment at Bandera.

There was also bronc riding, different from bareback because there is a saddle.  In addition to staying on for 8 seconds, there are also many other rules, such as keeping your feet above the shoulders of the horse as you come out of the chute.  

In calf roping the cowboy roped the calf, then got off his horse and tied the calf's legs up.  His horse must keep the rope tight so the cowboy can grab the calf and throw it on the ground.  

After the cowboy ties the legs, the cowboy gets back on his horse and provides slack in the rope.  The calf must stay tied for 6 seconds.  If the rope comes undone or the calf gets all the way up, then it is a 'no time'.

A first for me was the Dinner Bell Race.  Here they have brought out about six young colts, all having been born since January.  

Here they are taking their mommy's away down the track.

When the bell rings the babies are released, who then race down the track trying to find their mother.  

The final event for this rodeo was the wild horse capture.  Three man teams must get their wild horse saddled and then one of the team members must ride the horse around the track.  Sometimes the teams couldn't even keep hold of the horses, let alone, get them saddled.  I actually saw several horses rear up so far they fell over backwards or fell on the fence.  Needless to say, the paramedics were standing by for both the horses as well as cowboys.

Once we watched a horse drag one of the cowboys 1/4 way round the track.  The cowboy just wasn't about to let go.

Several got their horse saddled, but they had no real reins, just a halter rope, so there was not much control.

Some of the riders never made it all the way round the track and we saw several of the horses get back to the start and just stop, never crossing the finish line, completing the race.

Had lots of fun, and really enjoyed this rodeo.  I do plan on coming back.

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