Saturday, July 10, 2010

The annual Mandan Rodeo...

...is noisy, but fun, for the most part.

As you already know, my family and I went to view the rodeo the evening of July 4th, starting at 7:30PM. I thought I'd share about our time there in pictures.......

First of all, several cowgirls rode through, bearing the flags of the sponsors of the event. Then there was a prayer for safety for all.

The first event was the bare-back riding of wild horses.... They put a couple of tight ropes around the horses' belly to make it jump and buck when it gets out of the gate, and the cowboy needs to stay on, using one hand to hold onto a rope, for as long as he can or until the buzzer sounds, whichever comes first. His performance is judged upon how high he kept his feet in the air and how much he encouraged the horse to keep up it's antics. YIKES!
The following event was calf-tying, where the cowboy has to throw his lasso around the calve's neck; jump off his horse (which is trained to pull back on the rope to keep the tension on the calf); and tie the calves legs together as quickly as possible. When the cowboy jumps back (as seen in the picture below), the calf needs to stay put for, I think, 9 seconds, or else if the rope comes undone and the calf gets up, the cowboy is disqualified...

Next was a Chuck-wagon race! Three teams of horses got raced around the large track, one lap, and that was the extent of the race. :) It was fun to watch though.

Following was the Saddle-Bronc riding...

How would you like to be this cowboy?
The clown, with his firetruck that smoked and sparked when he pushed a button.... He had a warped sense of humor and was my least favorite part of the rodeo!
Back to bronc riding...
"Hold on tight, cowboy!"

Next on the schedule was the steer-wrestling event... The steer is in the black chute and the cowboy is in the alley way beside the chute. When the calf exits, the cowboy breaks through the rope barrier with his horse and rides full-speed alongside of the calf. Then, when the moment seems right, he jumps off his steed and grabs the steers' neck and twists it's head sideways, resulting, if done properly, in the steer tipping over on its side. Then, everyone cheers for the cowboy...
Up next was Team-Roping. Two cowboys work together and, when the calf is let out of the chute, one cowboy ropes the calves' head and the other its back legs. It takes a lot of skill to get this accomplished!
They had a 4 year old girl sing the National Anthem this year, while the Rodeo Queen held the flag...
After that came the barrel-racing--a woman's sport. Basically, the cowgirl steers her horse around three barrels, trying to cut the corner as closely as possible without touching the barrel (they get a time penalty if they do touch it.) Each entrant is timed, so speed is very important...

Then came another Chuck-Wagon race...



My brothers thought this race would be fun to do! The man below was sitting precisely behind me at the rodeo, and he won the mini-bike race, so we got to hear all about it after he returned to the bleachers...

And THEN, it was time for the bull riding! I don't see how anyone could get up the courage to do such a thing as ride a bucking bull...
Mother informed us that the cowboy below (the guy in the chaps) is a distant relative of ours, my third cousin, to be exact.

The bulls won that night. Not one of the 10 or so cowboys was able to stay on his bull for the full duration of the time needed to qualify.

I've included below a couple of videos of the bull riding, for those of you who've never seen such a thing.

"Look out!"

After the main rodeo was over, they had what was called a Ranch Rodeo which was really fun to watch. It consisted of several cowboys from local ranches, roping calves; tying calves; and a special pass-the-baton and get your horse loaded in the trailer race.
AND THEN, came the huge fireworks display!!! It probably lasted half an hour and put smiles on everyones faces.



So was it at the rodeo.
We arrived home at 1:00 that night, happy but very tired.
*More posts to come*

3 comments:

Dawn Bornemann said...

What an incredible post, Cora! You did a fantastic job of sharing the rodeo with others and of blessing us with seeing it twice. :)
Mom

Kimberly said...

Great pictures. Your explanations were very good, too. If someone had never been to a rodeo they would be able to understand what is going on well from reading your post. I didn't watch the bull riding. I like rodeos but get too nervous when that part comes along. I really don't know how someone can do that either. I'm really glad none of my sons ever took it up!

Hannah said...

What a time you had!

I think a rodeo would be fun to see! My friend Olivia might do barrel racing sometime soon- I should watch her :)

Have not ever seen anybody riding a bull before or even a video of it so it was interesting to see in the one you shared... those brave men! I could never do that!

You took some great firework pictures! I really wanted to try out my new camera on fireworks this year but it did not work out for use to go to any... Maybe when the village near us has their "________days" we can go and watch them though :)

Grace and I had a little wild time with animals this evening... it was only us two home and the animals got out twice and we were having a time of it. The first time we were more upset, but the second time it was later and we were laughing *so* hard.
Especially when I made a grab for the ram and my feet slipped out from under me and I fell, but keep on going- ending up with a very sore seat...

I yelled something (never mind what) that sent us both roaring with laughter- Grace holding a lamb and me on the ground yelping in pain and loosing my breath laughing...

What a time we had!