Note: For the ballet or orchestral piece written by Aaron Copland, please see Rodeo (ballet).

Steer roping
Steer roping

Rodeo is a traditional folk North American sport with influences from the history of Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) and American cowboys. Rodeo events include the rough stock events bull riding, bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, the timed events steer wrestling, team roping, calf roping, the rarely seen steer roping, and women's barrel racing, breakaway roping, goat roping and pole bending. The participants include cowboys, cowgirls and also rodeo clowns or bull fighters. See also gymkhana and polo.

The oldest and largest sanctioning body of professional rodeo is the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) which sanctions around 700 rodeos annually. The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is a recent organization dedicated to Bull Riding and puts on a number of events. There are also high school rodeos, amateur rodeos, and rodeos for women. Some colleges, such as the University of Montana have a rodeo team. The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association is responsible for the College National Rodeo Finals. Also available is the National High School Rodeo Association NHSRA. This organization offers internationally competitive rodeo to high school students.

There are numerous rodeos held throughout the United States and Canada. Among the more prominent are the Calgary Stampede; Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming; the National Western Stock Show in Denver; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas; and the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NFR is held each December at the Thomas & Mack Center and features the top 15 competitors (in terms of earnings) from each of the events. In 2003, it is estimated that attandance at the 10 days of the National Finals Rodeo will top more than 170,000 with another 9 million people watching the rodeo on television.

Rodeo first appeared as an exhibition Olympic sport at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Native Americans are active in rodeo and have their own associations, see Indian rodeo.


Criticism of rodeos

Animal rights and animal welfare organizations are vocal critics of rodeos, because of reported injuries and distress to the animals involved. American Humane contends that rodeos are not an accurate or harmless portrayal of ranching skills; rather, they display and encourage an insensitivity to the acceptance of brutal treatment of animals in the name of sport.

Much of the criticism is incorrectly drawn to the spectacular, but generally harmless (to the animals) rough stock events: bull riding, bareback bronc riding and saddle bronc riding. The timed events such as calf roping and especially steer roping pose a greater likelihood of injury to the animals. The rodeo associations have made some changes to reduce the chances of injury, such as requiring older, heavier calves for calf roping, larger steers for steer wrestling and many rodeos no longer have steer roping. Animal cruelty in rodeos needs to be explored, but greater understanding of stock and stock handling would help focus the debate on the areas in which abuse is more likely to occur.

Notable rodeos worldwide

Rodeo Associations

See also

External links

Links to external animal welfare sites

  • ( undercover investigation of rodeo abuse in Ohio
  • Position Statement: Rodeo ( American Humane Association
  • PRCA Animal Welfare Rules ( Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
  • PETA Rodeo cruelty factsheet ( PETA's rodeo cruelty factsheet

The word Rodeo is also used as a euphemism for a brothel.

Rodeo (in this context pronounced "roh-day-oh") is also a ballet written by Aaron Copland.

For the famous shopping street in Beverly Hills, California, see Rodeo ja:ロデオ nl:Rodeo pt:Rodeio sv:Rodeo


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