USA - Texas
Experiences and Interesting Facts of a Rodeo
~ 1999 ~
anthem USA

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Beverly Hills
bronc riding barabackThe rodeo is a most exciting and thrilling competition  between cowboys from all over over the country. It has a long tradition and even today there are rodeo schools to keep it alive and professional. The arena was floodlighted and surrounded by a wire fence. As we had places in the first row, we were very close to the action - sometimes even were sprinkled with sand by the passing steers or horses and in fact felt involved in the breathtaking actions. 

rodeo opening ceremonyThe performance started with an Opening ceremony with horsemen, dressed in bright colours and carrying flags. Then the people present sang the National anthem followed by an invocation (prayer). Much to our surprise our friends had managed that the master of ceremonies welcomed us by  our names as guests from East Germany and the audience joined applauding. We even met a foreign exchange student from GDR. All through the show the master of ceremony carried on a constant line of joking with a clown. 

rodeo starting gateAll the competitors were announced by their names and places  they came from and when they had finished, the audience was given the achieved results through the loud speaker . All the rodeo actions are timed beginning at the starting gate

Here some of the competitions which were carried out:

bareback riding Bareback riding - 
bucking wild horses with no saddle or bridle. The rider holds on with one hand only for at least 8 seconds. 
Rodeo in Coleman, TX.
Photo by James Fhifer
bull riding Bull riding -
cowboy rides wild bulls with only one hand holding a rope around the bull's chest for at least 8 seconds. Clowns keep bulls away from fallen riders, otherwise the bulls would hurt or kill them.
CPRA Rodeo, TX
Photo by R & M
Steer wrestling
cowboy on a horse rides up to  a running steer, jumps off the horse, catches the steer by the horns and wrestles it to the ground, so that all four feet are in the air. Objective is fastest time. It is usually done in four to eight seconds from the starting gate.
calf ropingCalf roping - 
Cowboy on his horse catches a running calf with a lariat rope, jumps off the horse, throws the calf on the ground and ties three feet so the calf can not get up. Objective is fastest time. The better cowboys catch the calf and finish tieing it in approximately seven to eight seconds from the time they leave the starting gate. barrel race
Half Pint Rodeo in Wimberly, TX.
Photo by Hollida

Barrel race -
women riders circle three barrels. Objective is least amount of  time to complete the course. 
4SHSRA Rodeo, TX 
Photo by L. Barnes

Also the children got a chance, to show their talents - little kids, all under six years old, were riding calves.  The rodeo was finished by a closing fanfare of riders performing complex riding patterns. 

This exciting event was a very new experience for us and a highlight of our trip. The rodeo, gave us unforgettable impressions and an idea of genuine Texan spirits. We thank our Texan friends, who made it possible for us, to experience this great and fascinating show - what an invaluable gift!
Have a great video (tape), but unfortunately due to the unvavourable light conditions we didn't succeed in taking good pictures of the fast actions. However, to give you an impression, we added some pictures from . Please visit this great site :-)

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