Bulls, Blood and Cowboys – It’s a rodeo!

Last week was our annual County Fair and we took the kids to the rodeo. They love this stuff. I love this stuff. What is it about the rodeo that draws such a crowd?

I mean, honestly, it’s a bunch of guys getting onto an angry 2,000 lb animal and holding on for dear life hoping to stay on for 8 second so that he can get paid and support his family.

Except there is something heroic about it. Something primal about conquering a raging bull that keeps my eyes glued to the arena. And of course, I’ve always been a big fan of cowboys. I married one! Be still my heart!

My Cowboy

This was our apprentice Eric‘s first time to the Rodeo. “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

Eric's first rodeo

And here are pictures of my kids having their share of fun.

Sweetheart of Daddy's cowboy hat

Little Cowboys with the Rodeo Clown

Unfortunately, no rodeo is complete without blood. This photo was taken just a second before the cowboy fell off the bull and was trampled into the dust left unconscious. He was immediately taken to the hospital and while I don’t know the outcome of his story, he did wave his hand as he left the field.

Cowboy down

Other pictures:

Bull fighters - the real heros of rodeos

Bull Ropers - true skill!

I’ll leave you with the song that goes through my head at Rodeos – Garth Brooks!

What about you: Have you ever been to a Rodeo? Does it draw you or turn you off?

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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10 Responses to Bulls, Blood and Cowboys – It’s a rodeo!

  1. Dalles Hayes says:

    Hey Sheri,

    I have grown up with rodeos and I love the excitement and the smells and everything about them, always wanted to be a rodeo rider, like most boys. However nowadays I don’t think I can justify the risk to the livestock, just my personal feeling. It has been nearly 30 years since i have watched one in the flesh.
    If it was down to me to supply animals to the rodeo I would say no, it is one thing to raise animals to the slaughter, it is another to raise them for our pleasure…are they the same thing?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      I can’t help but think that the bulls have as much if not more fun than the cowboys. 🙂 Again, my opinion

    • Nate says:

      Most bulls that they use in bigger rodeos have done it so much that they know whats going on and I think like bucking them off, and most rodeos treat there their livestock really well.

  2. Deanna says:

    we live near Coffeyville, Kansas, and the thing to do in early August is go to the rodeo. We quit going about 15 years ago when the kids were little because we began noticing the humor was often “off color”, beer and tobacco advertisements were everywhere and we didn’t think it was a good environment for kids. I can’t imagine it has improved over the years… I hope it is better in your area of the country.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      We are blessed. This rodeo was very kid/family friendly. 🙂 Small towns. Gotta love ’em sometimes 🙂

  3. I’m with Dalles – I do respect our need for bloodlust, but seriously endangering a person so we can get our kicks seems like messed up priorities to me. I mean really, it’s just a game. And from the perspective of cruelty to the animals, food is not the same as entertainment.
    My two cents.

  4. Tonia says:

    We are going to a rodeo Saturday night. I dont have a problem with it since most of the animals are treated well. Its not like they are Bullfighters in Mexico or Spain where they stick them with swords till the animal or the man finally dies more or less. I had a friend see one of those and she was just about physically ill by the time it was done.
    I havent been to a rodeo for a few years and cant wait. Like you I married a cowboy! Nothing better looking than a cowboy in my Humble Opinion!!Lol

  5. Shrader Thomas says:

    Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion. Basing your opinion on speculation and “personal feeling,” however, is rarely wise. If you’re uncomfortable with something, research it. Pull back the curtain at any rodeo and what you will find might surprise you, if you really think it’s all about “bloodlust” and “messed up priorities.” The rodeo was developed by people who spend their whole lives around these animals — they work with them, and they created rodeo as a way to play and exercise with them. Rodeo people respect, admire, and want to take care of the animals that are so important to their way of life. The truth is, the average bucking horse or bull works less than five minutes per year in the arena — and they spend the rest of their time being treated like kings. As far as “risk to the livestock” is concerned, Injury to animals is so infrequent, it is at a rate of less than 1%. And, sure, people sometimes get injured. It’s a tough sport. Have you ever seen a football game? Or a rugby match? Heck, a few weeks ago, a man in Dallas died when he fell out of the stands at a baseball game while trying to catch a fly ball for his son. As Joel says, without risk, where’s the freedom or the excitement?
    I think the rodeo is a fantastic American tradition, safe and even exciting for the animals — and good clean family fun.

  6. I love going to rodeos, personally! As a former barrel racer, and rodeo gal, I can say that they are not as cruel as they first seem to many people. The bucking bulls are often times the tamest creatures around; it’s the “bucking belts” on them that makes them buck so wildly. Although, I think some of them do enjoy it…. 🙂

    Very nice pictures!

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