Monday, July 30, 2012

Rodeo Review Monday

I didn't watch a movie this weekend.  We were busy doing other things.  Instead, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the rodeo finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days.  This is the second year I've gone, and I really enjoy it.  I didn't take any pictures this time, so you'll have to survive without them.

We sat on the opposite side of the stands this year, and I liked it a lot better.  We were in the shade the whole time (although it was still hot) and I thought you could see the action better.  Plus, I didn't have to worry about getting poo and dirt flung on me.  Not that I mind all that much.  It was just a concern last year.

I don't mind the bull riding and bronc riding, they obviously have their place in rodeo, but my favorite events are the steer roping and wrestling.  They are skills that are actually tied into ranching, things that have to do with cattle, so I enjoy watching the cowboys put their skills to the test.  I know some people think it's cruel and mean what they do, but if there is a sick cow in the field, they aren't going to saunter up to the house and tell the rancher they feel bad.  The rancher has to go out there and take care of them.  Same as vaccinating the babies.  They don't line up for their shots.  And they are cows, they are going to run.  Besides, the ranchers aren't hurting them.  Those things are worth a lot of money, why would you hurt them? 

There are several different events in steer roping, including steer roping, where one guy has to rope the steer around the horns, then tie up three of the steers legs in under 30 seconds.  I think maybe two out of 12 people actually accomplished their goal.  Then there's team roping, where two riders go out after the cow.  The head guy has to get it around the horns, and the rear guy has to get his rope around the cow's back legs.  Talk about needing some skill.  The head guy has to make the cow hop so the back guy can get his rope under the hooves.  This even went a little better, and more than two cowboys accomplished their goal.

Then, there is steer wrestling.  This is where a single cowboy goes out after the cow and jumps off the horse to wrestle the cow to the ground.  The horse and cow are running at full speed, or pretty darn close to it.  There's no way I'm going to jump off a horse onto a creature with horns, but on the ranch, it has to be done.  It's very exciting to watch.

At the end of the rodeo is what they call "The Wild Horse Race."  This, I think, is the most nerve-wracking event of all.  I don't enjoy watching it.  Teams of three people are given a wild horse--and I do mean wild.  These animals are so desperate to get away, they fall over backward.  So, two of the guys have to hold the horse while the third puts a saddle on it.  Once the saddle is on, they then proceed to ride it around the track.  This is incredibly dangerous.  Before the event even starts, the medical team gets all set up with their backboards because it is inevitable someone will get hurt.  And they did.  Several people went down.  Made me cringe.

All in all, it was a great day at the rodeo.  The weather was a little warm, but we were in the shade, so it was tolerable.  The cowboys made some great rides and showed off their skills.  I couldn't ask for anything more!

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