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Rodeos

Last updated 13 October 2017

Rodeos are a country ‘family entertainment’ competition spectacle.

These are some of the typical events during these spectacles:

Steer Roping
Steer is the term given to a male bovine when he is no longer a calf, younger than 2 years, and has also been castrated.These young individuals are kept in pens at one end of a rodeo arena behind the starting boxes until it is their turn to ‘perform’. When it is their turn they are led into a restraint that faces the steer into the arena. I sat and watched at these events as people grasped onto the fur of the steers in the box and pulled them back and forth to instill fear into them, presumably so that they would be more inclined to run out of the restraint when it is opened. Beside the restraint, a rider on a horse waits for the steer to be released. When he is released, the steer immediately makes a dash to escape. With a rope in hand to wrap around his neck, the rider chases him relentlessly. Still frightened by the harassment he endured in the restraint, not to mention the unfamiliar crowd and noise of the event, the steer’s running becomes futile. He is caught by his horns or neck.

Team Roping
This also starts the same as steer roping, and is done to a young steer. However This time when the steer is chased down not one, but two riders on horse back chase him into the arena. One rider aims to ropes the steers head, and the other aims to rope his back legs. This often results in the steer losing his footing and falling to the ground. They almost always thrash around once the rope is around their heads, desperate for the show to be over.

Steer Wrestling
This events begins similarly to Steer roping, but this time instead of stopping him with a rope, the rider jumps off of the horse to tackle the steer to the ground. In order to make the steer drop to the ground the rider twists the head of the steer with so much force as to make them relinquish their footing in order to release the pressure to their neck.

Bucking Broncos
Horses who are particularly uncomfortable with having men ride on their backs are selected for the bucking bronco events.They are led into a small metal box called a chute where the rider can mount the horse while he or she is unable to escape. A rope band is attached to the horse’s waist to increase discomfort and encourage distress when released. Next, the gate of the chute is swung open allowing the horse and the human into the arena. Once they’ve entered, the horse proceeds to frantically jump and turn around in order to get the man and the rope off of him or her. This is often done with such panic that it can result in the horse tripping, stumbling and falling to the ground.

Bull Riding
This event is similarly structured to the bucking broncos event. The bulls are led into a small metal box called a chute where the rider can mount the bull while he is unable to escape. A rope band is attached to the bull’s waist to increase discomfort and distress when released. Next, the gate of the chute is swung open allowing the bull and the human into the arena where the bull proceeds to frantically jump and turn around in order to get the man and the rope off of him This is often done with such panic that it can result in the bull tripping, stumbling and falling to the ground.

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