Rodeo Forty Years Ago

The trailer is unhooked and parked at the edge of the field in the trees. The horses have been unloaded, brushed down and are tied in the shade where they can relax until they are needed. The truck has been backed up to the arena fence, the tale-gate has been dropped and sits ready to provide seating to enjoy the early morning slack or afternoon performance of the rodeo.

People visiting and mingling with friends and family as they go about getting ready for events they are entered in. Little ones are excited to be part of the mutton busting and calf riding. Next up the generation ladder kids wait their turn to ride steers and team rope with a sibling, parents or good friends. Teenagers and adults alike are warming up their horses for calf roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing.

The younger generation hone their skills by swinging ropes at bales of hay and tying calves made out of half a tire with legs made of four sticks cut to the appropriate length. Watchful mentors giving advice and praise over the efforts being made.

The smell of hamburgers and onions cooking on the grill at the outdoor concession stand waifs through the air along with the aroma of strong brewed coffee. All mingling with the odours of the rodeo grounds.

The announcer has done his sound checks and the person acting as the rodeo clown for the day is finishing his face paint while running through his scheduled afternoon antics in his mind.

The stock contractor trucks arrived the day before to unload the rough stock and the local ranchers that are supplying the calves and steers have long since been and gone in the early morning hours. Their contribution of stock is safely penned in corrals located behind the arena.

Sounds from behind the chutes indicate that the bareback horses are being run into the chutes to await the cowboys who have drawn them. Soon the bareback rigging will be in place and horse and rider will explode from the gate when it opens.

The performance will soon start with a grand entry and introductions of the community leaders and organizers that have worked so hard in preparation of this day. Recognition will be given to the oldest and youngest person entered, local celebrities such as a student who has won a scholarship, rodeo royalty from another town, the timers, and the judges and pick up men.

For those who came, performed their best, and maybe, just maybe, were lucky enough to take home a little bit of the prize money; the luck of the draw was on their side.

This was rodeo forty years ago; and at the end of the day when the trucks and trailers were pulling out of the rodeo grounds to head home; there was a comfortable feeling of belonging.

Ann Edall-Robson has over fifteen years experience as a Show and Entry Secretary. She owns her own business DAKATAMA, consults as an event manager/planner as well as offering seminars on Arena Management Software and How to Become an Excellent Show and Entry Secretary.

What Happens to Bulls After Their Days in the Rodeo?

Bulls, like all other rodeo rough stock are considered to be elite athletes in their own right. They are thousands of pounds of muscle and bone that is admired and respected by the cowboys who ride them, stock contractors who secretly wish they owned them and by the fans who follow their career and statistics.

A bull’s rodeo career, on average, spans six to ten years; during which time he will have been coddled and looked after like any other professional athlete. When they are retired from the rodeo arena, their pampering regime will continue as they are turned out to pasture, so to speak, to live out the remainder of their life.

Many are given a new purpose in life by becoming one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of bulls in breeding programs around the world. Programs that promote the continued growth of premium rodeo stock through the use and reputation of retired bulls. A lucrative business that is enhanced even more when the bulls in the reproduction program have bucked off a large percentage of the cowboys who have tried to ride him during the animal’s career. It is not uncommon for sizeable amounts of money to be paid for straws of semen taken from a bull with a reputable rodeo history.

Their names are inducted into halls of fame, lyrics are written about them and rodeo announcers and colour commentators around the world compare their off-spring to these famous athletes. Their days in rodeo may be complete; however, long after these bulls have left the arena or are no longer alive the legendary ones continue to be acknowledged for their accomplishments or their notoriety of being a bad boy.

Ann Edall-Robson has over fifteen years experience as a Show and Entry Secretary. She owns her own business DAKATAMA, consults as an event manager/planner as well as offering seminars on Arena Management Software and How to Become an Excellent Show and Entry Secretary.

Living and Breathing Rodeo

It is a way of life for me. When I am on the road headed to a rodeo or sitting behind the bucking chutes I feeling relaxed and at home. There is no other life that I would want to live besides the one I am living now. I travel all over the United States and see so many different places that I thought I would never see. Big cities, bright lights, pretty horses and fast women.

I have been rodeoing and going to rodeos since I could walk. The first rodeo I was in I rode a sheep in the muttin bustin contest in Florida and ended up riding my sheep the longest and was put in the local newspaper. My dad, my uncle and most of my cousins are also into the rodeo life and that is why it runs in my blood because I was raised around it. Now that I am older I drive to rodeos just about every weekend and compete to go to the finals at the end of the year where you can win up to $250,000.

At the rodeos I mainly ride bulls and team rope. Riding bulls is something that I have always done, but takes a lot of guts and pain to become a champion. I have broken my tailbone, pulled muscles in my back, and have had many other injuries, but in this sport you punch through those pains if you want to win. Making it big in the rodeo life is very difficult because you don’t sign a contract and as long as you compete you get paid. It is not like that at all. We have to pay for our own gas to travel up and down the road, pay our own entry fees, and if we don’t compete or we don’t win, we don’t make any money. So no matter how much pain you are in or how tired you are, if you need money and want money you have to put all those things behind you and get on. I also team rope which involves two people. There is a header that ropes the steers horns and a heeler that then ropes the steers back feet after the header catches. I mainly heel at big rodeos, but can switch sides and head every now and then.

The rodeo life is not for everyone. It takes guts and love and glory. You got to be dedicated and accept the fact that your not going to win every rodeo. Many people think that they are cut out to be a cowboy and live the rodeo life, but there is a select few that make it to the end. It is a hard life to live and most cowboys, especially bull riders are worn out and broken down by the age of thirty-five because of all the traveling every weekend and broken bones and bruises you have to deal with day in and day out. Like they say, “No pain, no gain!”

So that is how I live my life traveling up and down the rodeo to hopefully make a name for myself and make big money in the rodeo world. Gotta go, gotta go, gotta rodeo!

Mechanical Bull Rodeo Style Safety Concept – Seat Sensor Shut Off Innovation

In retirement I’ve traveled to every single city in the United States with over a 10,000 population. Now, don’t get me wrong I did not avoid the little cities, I went to so many I can’t even count them, although I didn’t get to all of them, it took me seven years traveling by motorhome just to ensure that I got to every town of over 10,000 or more people. Two areas I really enjoyed were West Texas and South Texas. The people are very nice there, and cowboy-ism is alive and well. Perhaps the most fun place to visit is a Texas two-step bar and grill establishment, and there are quite a few.

That’s where all the fun and action is, and as long as you are not trying to pretend to be something you aren’t, or shooting your mouth off, you can have a lot of fun even as an outsider. One of the coolest things are the mechanical bull rides, and you might think they are safer than a regular bull, and maybe they are, but they aren’t as safe, at least not all of them as you think they might be. Most of them have automatic shutoffs once the rider is dejected. But in some of the older bars, they have the older style mechanical bull rodeo style set up without the automatic shut off.

If you get thrown off of one of these you hope you get thrown off a decent distance because if you try to stand back up the thing is liable to come back and kick you in the butt, and knock you on your rear end. Not only is it embarrassing, but let me tell you; it hurts. Just because some of the locals can ride the mechanical bull on the higher setting, doesn’t mean you’ll be able too, and it might be fun for a few seconds, but often it ends with a hard landing even on the mats, and you had better get out of the way quick.

It seems that those with the automatic shut off are based on weight, and when there is no more weight on the mechanical bull the spring pops up and shuts it off. Still, on some it takes a little while for it to wind down and therefore perhaps these systems need a seat sensor shut off using a fiber-optic wire under the saddle. Immediately shutting off the power and completely stopping the system. This might add cost to the mechanical bull, but it might also help the bar and grill with their insurance policy, even though every rider signs a waiver to ride the bull at their own risk. Please consider all this and think on it.

Selecting Rodeo Awards: Your Options for a Successful Event

People participate in sporting events, such as the rodeo, for the love of the sport. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want or deserve recognition for their skills and accomplishments. As the event planner, you have a lot of available options to choose from for your award ceremony.

Belt Buckles

Shiny silver belt buckles are the quintessential rodeo award. Rodeo winners are instantly recognizable by their beautiful silver buckles, heralding their accomplishments. These buckles are beautifully handcrafted by skilled silversmiths, with intricate designs embossed, engraved, or inlaid on each plate buckle. The motif on each buckle can be personalized to the exact image and message that you choose. Popular buckle motifs include animals like horses or eagles, stars, western scenes, and detailed patterns. Buckles made for awards often feature the name of the event, the sport, and the year, so that the recipient can display it like a trophy.

Banners and Ribbons

Another very common form of awards for rodeo events is banners and ribbons. Large woven banners, often with a beautiful thick fringe, are great for commemorating large accomplishments, such as a signature event or a team competition. Teams especially love these because they can be displayed in their clubhouse, meeting room, or stable. Ribbons can range from small simple printed ribbons to large elaborate ones with beautiful rosettes. All of these items can be found in any color, and can be printed with any text you choose.

Saddles and Tack

Not all awards have to be purely decorative. Some professional rodeo events reward their winners with elaborate trophy saddles, elegant tack equipment for the horses, or handcrafted saddle silver. These make excellent awards because they are useful, and can be used every day – reminding the winner every day of his or her accomplishments.

Gear Bags and Shirts

Another useful category of award can be found in gear bags, totes, or items of clothing. Specialized bags for rodeo equipment are always in demand, and can easily be personalized with an embroidered logo or wording. Shirts are a popular memento for all kinds of events. Denim or khaki work shirts are popular with working cowboys, and everybody loves a good t-shirt.

Jewelry

Still useful, but more decorative, are jewelry options. Any winner, especially women, will love to receive a commemorative ring, bracelet, earrings, or necklace pendant. Handcrafted silver jewelry can be customized to suit your event, your winner, and your budget. More useful objects such as keychains, decorative knives, or money clips are also a good option to consider.

Trophies, Plaques, and Certificates

Of course, let’s not forget traditional award types. Trophies are available in many sizes, and can easily be customized to suit your needs. People and groups alike both love to display a case of their shining trophies. Plaques, made of glass, acrylic, or wood, can be made for display on a wall or on a flat surface such as a shelf or desk. These are great for people who have an office, such as a team coordinator, coach, or manager. Similar to plaques, an engraved certificate, in a nice frame, is appropriate for any recipient and sure to be appreciated.

Event planning is a stressful process, full of difficult decisions and intricate details. Don’t let the awards for your event fall through the cracks – let your trophy shop or silversmith help you make the right selections for a successful rodeo.

Lone Star Silversmith is a complete custom manufacturer of Rodeo and Custom Trophy buckles. We also offer Awards, Ribbons, and Silver Accessories for all your Events. Our products can be designed to accommodate the needs and requests of our customers. We are committed to detailed craftsmanship, quality materials, competitive pricing and excellent service.

Lone Star Collection jewelry provides our customers “Silver with a Flair of Western Elegance.” Each piece is hand-Crafted and can be customized to your own unique design. We have several collections to offer.

Competitive Rodeo – What Is The Best Music to Practice Rodeo Riding?

Competitive rodeo takes a certain type of person. You must be fearless, have a death wish, and have an affinity for danger, oh and be an adrenaline junkie. Yes, there are other personal traits that you probably need, and it helps to have a conflicted personality when it comes to animals. In fact, it helps to be an animal yourself, or so the joke goes. With that famous bumper sticker; “save a horse, ride a cowgirl.” Now then, I’d like to talk to a little bit about the grueling hours of practice that must be put in to be a competitive rodeo rider, because their skills don’t come overnight, and they don’t come without heartaches and headaches.

Further, you better have a good health care program or be on the A-List for ObamaCare. Very rarely do the winnings of competitive rodeo riders compensate for the medical bills. You have to do it for the love of it, because you’re a little bit crazy and because you want to prove something. Too many in the crowd you will prove that you’re out of your mind, and to others you will prove you have superhuman strength and agility, magical. To yourself you will prove that you are tough enough at least to live another day.

Now then, about that training – you are going to need some decent music to listen to, but it’s almost impossible to keep an earbud on when riding an animal. Secondly, you need to listen and get a feel for the animal, and it’s hard to do that with the music blaring. Nevertheless, music does help in the heat of battle, and the more intense the music the better. Some rodeo riders actually listen to heavy metal, hard rock, and techno-rock. Many believe that they listen to things like Garth Brooks, and other country music. Now, they do probably listen to that, but only when they’re trying to mellow out coming off an adrenaline high.

Chances are if you are reading this article you aren’t cut out for the rodeo, certainly not competitive rodeo. Many of the competitive rodeo riders will not bother going on the Internet and reading endless dribble about their sport they are too busy doing it, they are real bad asses, real men, not pansy ass article readers. Does that mean I want you to stop reading this article? No, you’ve come to the end, why don’t you go out and ride something, and ride it like a man. Talk is cheap. That’s all for now.

Rodeo Daze – Riding With The Pros

Piggin’ strings and bucking shoots used to be part of my everyday life. Rodeo clowns were my constant companions and mutton busting came to be one of my favorite things. Of the two sports that originated in the U.S., baseball and rodeo, I was once thoroughly entrenched in the latter. Originating in Pecos, Texas, all those years ago, rodeo has become synonymous with America’s wild west heritage and the reputation has been well-earned.

The Adolph Coors Company signed me as its national spokesperson in 1989. The first thing my grandmother said was “isn’t there a detergent or soft drink company you could work for instead?” My people stand against alcohol use in any form and the year I worked for Coors was simply overlooked. But Peter Coors signed my check and his new passion was rodeo, so, I saddled up.

For forty six weeks straight, I rode horseback in professional rodeos across the country-from Albany, New York to Poway, California. I traveled the states appearing in one show per week. Twelve cases of beer, Coors, of course, were delivered to my hotel room everyday for me to give away for “goodwill.” I never felt so popular. I often had to check the hotel phone each day to figure out where I was.

One day, we were lined up at a rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, to ride the “circle 8” which is when all the contestants of a rodeo ride out for the audience. Someone said, “Lane’s down at Cheyenne.” By the time we finished the opening routine, we heard that Lane was dead. Lane Frost had been my friend in rodeo. His last interview was with me in Santa Maria, California and I saw snippets of that interview on the news over and over and over.

Then, they made the movie “8 Seconds” and it tried to do justice to his life. But that didn’t touch how deep his friendship to Tuff Hedeman was. I was with Tuff at the very next rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa, and he showed up, ready to ride and do the press tour. Tuff and I were auctioned off at a benefit for some charity. We both had to dance with someone who had bid on us.

“How are you even here?” I asked him. I heard some rich businessman flew him and Lane’s saddle to his dad after the bull rider’s death. “You gotta cowboy up or you die too,” he told me. What a trouper. He was barely there and racked with grief, but that’s what cowboys do.

One month of my year, I was sent on an alcohol awareness junket. The goal was to balance the promotion of beer with a fair warning of its danger. No press was booked and I was sent to Indian reservations-mostly in New Mexico and Arizona. One stop at the Navajo reservation in Window Rock, Arizona, was enough to get the full impact of the downside of alcohol use among our earliest residents.

Many Native American dreams have been obliterated by ethanol alcohol due to their inherent trait of never having consumed ‘fire water’ before white man brought it here from Europe. We brought the potent beverages when we came to develop and settle into the territories which would later become the fifty states. The evidence of alcoholic damage is evident and far-reaching when one visits the reservations.

In a time when family events are rare, rodeo still holds its allure for all ages. There are two kinds of competitors-riders and ropers-and it is thrilling to see a horse and rider compete as one in the arena. I’ll never forget the year that I spent “going down the road” with all those proud horsepeople and of my brief exposure to the damage caused by ethanol brews to our Native American population.