Rodeo is a practice that has been an integral part of U.S. history and culture for more than a century. It all began in the early days of colonization, when cowboys and cowgirls, inseparable from their horses, demonstrated their riding skills and competed in events full of excitement and skill, something that has endured to this day.
Undoubtedly, rodeo in the United States is a tradition rooted in the history, folklore and culture of the country. Through bronc and bull riding, calf roping and other exciting competitions, the rodeo continues to be a showcase of skill and bravery on the part of the riders, captivating audiences with its showmanship and deep-rooted sense of tradition.
In this article we will take a closer look at the fascinating tradition of rodeo in the USA, where to enjoy the best shows and what the typical costumes are.
The U.S. rodeo: its origin and characteristics
The rodeo has its roots in the daily chores of ranching, where cowboys and cowgirls needed to demonstrate their skills in handling cattle and performing essential ranch tasks.
Over time, these skills became a spectacle in itself, and rodeo began to be considered a sport and a form of entertainment. Today, the rodeo is a very popular event that attracts thousands of people all over the country: if you travel to the USA and have the opportunity to enjoy this spectacle, you should not miss it.
One of the highlights of the rodeo are the bull riding competitions and the so-called “broncos”, horses that are difficult to ride and have a tendency to show an untamed and energetic behavior. The broncos are specifically selected for their temperament and challenging behavior to ensure an exciting and spectacular competition.
In events such as bull riding and bronc riding, riders face powerful and wild animals, demonstrating their ability to stay in the saddle for eight seconds. These competitions are a true test of bravery and skill, as riders must maintain balance and control the animal while trying to resist the sudden movements.
It is important to note that in rodeo events, animal welfare and safety are paramount, and measures are implemented to ensure that animals are treated ethically and appropriately during competitions.
In addition to bull and bronc riding, rodeo also includes other exciting disciplines, such as barrel racing and calf roping. In barrel racing, riders must go around a series of barrels in the shortest time possible, demonstrating their agility and ability to control their horse in tight spaces. On the other hand, the calf lasso is a test of precision and speed, where riders must throw a rope around the calf’s legs and stop it in the shortest time possible.
Where to see the best rodeo shows in the U.S.
There are several outstanding places in the USA where you can find some of the best rodeo shows. Here are some of them:
National Finals Rodeo (NFR): The most prestigious professional rodeo event in the United States. It is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the first weekend of December. The top competitors from each rodeo event gather here to compete for titles and cash prizes.
Cheyenne Frontier Days: Held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, it is known as the “Big Daddy of ‘Em All”. It is one of the oldest and largest rodeos in the country, attracting thousands of spectators and competitors. It takes place in July.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: one of the largest rodeo and livestock events in the world. It is held in Houston, Texas, for approximately three weeks in March. In addition to rodeo competitions, it also features a wealth of entertainment, concerts and exhibits.
Calgary Stampede: Although located in Canada, the Calgary Stampede is an iconic rodeo event and attracts competitors from the United States and around the world. It is held in Calgary, Alberta, for 10 days in July.
Pendleton Round-Up: Located in Pendleton, Oregon, this historic rodeo is held annually in September. It is known for its authentic and traditional atmosphere.
Santa Fe Rodeo: Held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is known for its regional charm and festive atmosphere. It takes place in July.
These are just a few examples of the best rodeos in the USA, but there are many other local and regional events across the country that also offer exciting rodeo shows. During rodeo events, you can find craft exhibits, country music and traditional food.
In addition, many rural communities and cities across the country hold rodeos as part of their annual festivals, making them a special occasion to gather and enjoy the company of friends and family.
What is the clothing used to practice American rodeo?
The clothing used in the American rodeo is distinctive and has a combination of practical and traditional elements that you can find at Corbeto ‘s. Let’s see what they are:
Cowboy hat: A wide-brimmed hat is an iconic element of rodeo attire. These hats provide protection from the sun and weather, and are also a recognizable symbol of cowboy culture.
Long-sleeved western shirt: Shirts used in rodeo are usually long-sleeved and collared. They are usually made of cotton or sturdy denim fabric. Some shirts may feature plaid or striped patterns.
Leather vest: Many competitors choose to wear a sturdy leather vest. This garment not only adds style, but also provides some additional protection during testing.
Jeans: Jeans are a common choice for rodeo competitors. Generally, heavy-duty denim pants are used, with reinforced seams and heavy-duty buckles.
Large belt buckle and Cowboy Belt: Wide belts and large buckles are characteristic elements of rodeo attire. Often, buckles are personalized with engravings, initials or symbols related to rodeo culture.
Cowboy boots: Cowboy boots are an essential element. This charismatic footwear is usually high heeled and has fairly straight heels and rounded or square toes (for a more purely American style) or slanted heels and pointed toes on more Mexican or European lines. All of them provide a better grip on the stirrup and protect the feet while riding.
This clothing is not only worn by the riders, but is also often worn by a large part of the audience attending the rodeo show. So, if you’re planning to attend too, you know where to find everything you need to wear the perfect denim look at a rodeo show or wherever you want: at Corbeto’s.