I will be staying up late every night for the next 10 days. It is time for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. I grew up showing horses, but not rodeoing. I have gone to many rodeos over the years.
There have always been a few rodeo fans on this board, so chime in! I know that ColoradoHog and his wife often attend the NFR for some of the mid go-rounds. (He always says to look for him, he will be the one in the black cowboy hat. That is like saying look for the one in the cardinal hat at an Arkansas game.)
The last rodeo I saw was in the 50’s in Saline County and the clown guy who distracts the bulls got hit and killed by one. My favorite was always the bronco busting.
Me and my wife spent most of the 70’s in the rodeo family. I was a calf roper and steer wrestler and my wife was an excellent barrel racer. We spent many hours training our horses and practicing in our arena. We typically only entered Arkansas Rodeo Association shows but spent some time at PRCA shows. Met many of the rodeo champions of the 70’s and a good number of entertainers. Got out without a lot of permanent injuries but I witnessed some really scary wrecks. Pro Rodeo folks travel constantly and pay entry fees and don’t eat if they don’t win. Expenses for these folks are unbelievable (travel, horses, trucks, trailers and much more. When we had our first child we had to decide if we would feed our daughter or our two horses. We sold the horses and 40 acers. Also rodeo folks help each other out. Behind the gates info is shared to help each other freely.
And like all elite athletes it takes hours and hours of training to hone the skills to make a living as a rodeo cowboy or cowgirl. I respect them so much.
The NFR is the best of the best.
We are not going to be able to make it down this year and are sick about it. Pam is having surgery Monday. This is the first time in at least 25 years we have not been to the NFR.
I would recommend anyone go in person even if you are not a Rodeo fan. The whole 10 days is amazing. if you are ever in Vegas during that time, don’t just go to the rodeo, but take in the whole scene. Go to Outside The Barrel every day at noon at Cowboy Christmas. A great fun. Take in all the Cowboy Christmas, The buckle awards every night at The South Point. Don’t miss The South Point during that time. It is amazing all that is happening. take in the horse training shows and the ropeings.
We leave our hotel around 9:30 in the AM and don’t get back until 10:30 (or 1:30 when we go to the South Point) PM and we do it for a week.
What a great time and what wonderful people from all over the country, but especially the Western US and Canada. These are salt of the earth type folks that will always stop and visit with you. I just love it. It is truly a celebration of our Western Lifestyle each December!