During the summer months, rodeos take place in many cities and towns across North America. This past weekend I attended the Big L Rodeo in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
Rodeo began back in the 1860s when cowboys held competitions amongst themselves during the annual roundup and cattle branding. The informal events were to show off their skills and talents in riding and roping. Crowds would often gather to watch the men competing.
In the late 1890s these events became a popular form of entertainment and Wild West Shows became a popular family event.
In the 20th century rodeo became recognized as a competitive sport. Associations were formed and sanctioned events are held around North America and the world.
Five standardized events make up most rodeos: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bull riding. Other events including barrel racing, are often a part of the competitions.
Rodeos offer prize money to the top cowboys and cowgirls as well as a point system that allows them to advance to other rodeos.
Rodeo truly is a family event. Many of the skills of a good cowboy and cowgirl are passed on from generation to generation. There are often events held for young cowboys and cowgirls including Youth Steer Wrestling and Youth Steer Riding.
The fun atmosphere of a rodeo often incudes the rodeo clowns hamming it up with the kids in the crowd in between the times they are out protecting the bull riders.
Learn more about the events at a rodeo with the virtual photo tour of the recent rodeo I attended.
Virtual Rodeo Tour