July 11, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 12

Rodeos aren't for everyone, but they can be fun

Write to the Point

I’m not a rodeo guy.

Roping cattle, wearing chaps and staring down the eyes of a raging bull just aren’t really my cup of tea and the closest I get to cattle tends to be around dinnertime.

My grandpa enjoyed rodeos, however, and I was lucky to see one with him some years ago. It’s a memory I still cherish today.

While I’m not a rodeo guru, I do appreciate the labor and amount of hard work that go into the rodeo lifestyle, traveling across the country, hoping to make the next competition on time. It’s similar to the lifestyle of any music group or performer who truly works day in and day out. But at the very core of every performance is something that draws us to them: a passion for the craft.

The performers out there in the arena are true masters of their sport. Whether it’s watching a violinist effortlessly play through one of Beethoven’s symphonies or having Gordon Ramsay cook for you, there’s an art form to every moment in front of an audience. Maybe there isn’t the gracefulness of a ballet while bronc riding, but there is an obvious style that lasts for the eight seconds a rider is in the arena.

So yes, a rodeo is an art form, albeit one in how to survive when a steed or a steer is on a rampage.

While I’m not going to be the first in line to attend a rodeo, I think the historical value of the event is very important. Hearing how cattle ranchers used some of the more basic elements in their everyday lives, and how that translates into today’s rodeo, is something of which I’m in awe. Rodeos are steeped in history and lend that historical influence wherever an event is held, regardless of whether that’s in the Western U.S. or in Mexico.

It’s a heritage, a tradition and truly a lifestyle.

That history is so important in today’s world, and should be at the forefront of every rodeo, showcasing the sport’s past. After speaking with several rodeo personnel over the years, I do have an appreciation for the sport and the people behind it. They’re honest, hardworking community members who have plenty of stories to tell.

Cheney is set to have another great rodeo this year, and I hope it’s the best in the event’s history. Combined with the Jubilee, this weekend is one of the busiest for the city, and an opportunity to get some people like myself interested in the sport, even for just one night.

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