Rodeo Research

For my final piece on the OU A215 course a story about a cowboy came into my head one day in March/April. I’d never been into western riding or cowboys, ever, but there the idea was so I went with it.

As I go back to the US every summer, I Googled rodeos in the Northeast, not really expecting much but hoping for something. Well, something was what I got in the Painted Pony Rodeo in Lake Luzerne, NY, near Glens Falls. They offer a BBQ before the rodeo, the sound system and music played through out the rodeo gave it a great atmosphere. The announcer and ‘rodeo clown’ banter was amusing. It rained about 15 minutes before the rodeo was due to start – a major downpour with thunder and lightning but as soon as the storm passed they got the show underway and what a show it was.

We picked a great night to go (Sat 11 Aug) because they put on a full show:
Bull Riding
Bareback Bronc Riding
Tie-Down Roping
Steer Wresting
Team Roping
Breakaway Roping
Trick Riding
Barrel Racing
Winners of those competitions can be found on the APRA website.

It was an amazing night. To actually see a rodeo after trying to write about one was a great experience. These people are pretty fearless from trying to stay on a bull or bronc for 8 seconds to barrel racing at an all out gallop. I have massive respect for what they do and hope I can go back next year.

I took a ton of photos but my photography isn’t great and the speed/lighting of everything baffled my limited knowledge of how to take good photos – but I did get a few.

4 thoughts on “Rodeo Research”

  1. Ooh, cool pictures!

    Does this mean that you wrote your rodeo story without having actually been to one? If yes, I’m really impressed, as the descriptions in your story were brilliant and I’d just assumed it was something you knew a lot about.

    1. Thanks, Hayley. I did a lot of Youtube watching of rodeos and bought on iTunes a documentary called, Rank, for the 8 Seconds story. I started riding again as well around the same time I wrote it so I know a little of what it’s like to be around horses, the feel of a riding ring – although English. But actually going to one was the best experience. It gave me ideas for the story in a way I hadn’t really seen it before so I’m glad I went.

  2. Fascinating Liz – when we were in Canada last year my cousins took us to the Fair and Rodeo in Armstrong, BC. Early in the day we went through all the tents looking at the fantastic crafts and then all the animals on display. Then later on we came back for the actual rodeo. It’s a very special way of life, I think. Had no idea that they put a belt round the horses to make them buck but amazing skill of the cowboys. Would love to read your story sometime.

    1. Thanks, Diana. I’ll send it on over to you. My riding instructor told me the belt around their back end is what makes them buck. I thought maybe they were wild or trained but she said – no, put one of those around any horse and it’ll buck. I liked they way they all helped each other out in the chutes. It would have been fascinating to be behind the scenes. I would love to gather more info/guts for my story by doing that.

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