The Interesting History of Rodeos
A rodeo is one of the most exciting and intense sports that are popular in many countries like Spain, South America, Central America, Canada, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a sport that involves calf-roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, and more other events that require strength, passion, and speed of cowboys and cowgirls to participate in Rodeo events.
The word Rodeo came from the Spanish word “rodeo,” which means ‘Round-Up,’ but it was now depicted as an event where cowboys and cowgirls compete and show their horse or bull handling skills.
History of Rodeos
Rodeo started up on a cattle industry somewhere in Western America, but its root was dated back approximately in the 16th Century. During the years 1519 to 1521, the cowboys from Mexico and the Spanish conquerors brought cattle and horses on the Southwest along with their equipment (ropes, saddle, etc.) and skills –like riding, branding, and RopingRoping, and even the name “Rodeo” (Round-Up), were handed out on the American Cowboys.
In the 1600s and 1700s, large ranches and settlement areas were built in some parts of Rio Grande for Spanish-Mexican settlers. Some of the settlers became the Vaqueros of Captain Richard King, who owned and established King Ranch. In the year 1820, cattle and horses were abundant in the market, the business involving cattle and horses became profitable, especially ranching as a business that offered jobs to range cowboys. The year the 1800s became the year for Cowboys, especially when communities got bigger and now opening social occasions, like the celebration of American Independence day. During these events, Range cowboys got the chance to challenge cowboys from other ranches on roping skills and bronc riding event.
After the Civil War, Rodeo competitions had emerged as well as an organization composed of passionate cowboys initially called Cowboys Turtle Association. The main purpose of this cowboy organization was the welfare and image of cowboys. The name Cowboy Turtle Association or CTA was later changed to Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association in 1975. However, Rodeo events aren’t only for cowboys. In 1948, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association was developed for women who are into rodeo.
Rodeo Competitive Events
Rodeo events have two types: The timed events and the Rough-stock Events. Rough Stock events are the Rodeo events that involve resisting horses and bulls. On the other hand, the timed events are the events that will test skills with the speed in a limited given time. These events are Roping, Barrel Racing, Steer Wrestling, and Goat-Tying.
Timed Rodeo Events
Roping is a skill-based on how a cowboy will catch a cattle or calf for branding or other purposes like medical treatment. Roping is basically catching a calf by throwing rope or lasso on its head, horns, or hind legs.
There are three types of Roping in Rodeo: Calf Roping, also known as tie-down RopingRoping, is one of the rodeo’s oldest event where a cowboy will throw a lasso on a calf’s head. As the calf falls, the cowboy must tie its three feet with a rope.
The second is the breakaway roping. It’s pretty much the same with Calf-Roping except that this Breakaway rope is much shorter and is attached to a flag. The rope was tied on the saddle of the horse, and when the rope caught the calf’s neck, the rope with a flag will break free from the saddle. It’s just like marking a calf with a flagged-rope.
The last type of RopingRoping is Team Roping, also called ‘heading and heeling.’ It is a rodeo event where both men and women compete by capturing a steer. One participant will be the header, who’ll aim for the steer’s horn, while the heeler, will aim at the steer’s hind legs.
Barrel Racing is a Rodeo event that will test the agility and speed of the participating cowboys or cowgirls. It is a timed-event where the horse and the rider will gallop around the barrels arranged in a clover-leaf pattern, without knocking down each barrel.
Steer Wrestling or Bulldogging
Steer Wrestling is probably one of the most dangerous rodeo events for cowboys. It is a rodeo event where a cowboy will jump off a running horse and throw himself unto a running steer’s horn and wrestle with it on the ground.
Although this event is not part of the actual rodeo events, it will teach young cowboys and cowgirls the basics of calf-roping. In this event, a horse rider will run after a staked goat to catch and tie it like how a calf was tied in a Calf-roping event.
Rough Stock Rodeo Events
There are two types of Bronc Riding in Rodeo. First is the Bareback Bronc riding, wherein a participant will ride on a resisting horse with just a rigging or a leather strap. However, Saddle Bronc riding differs on bareback riding, for it has a specialized swinging saddle attached to a bucking horse.
Bull Riding is a Rodeo event where a cowboy will mount on a bull instead of a horse. This is also one of the most dangerous Rodeo eventsfor the rider. During a Bull Riding event, some bullfighters work as well to distract a bull and prevent it from attacking a fallen rider.