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Swan Valley Rodeo

Cowboys Having Fun
Big Fun At the Rodeo

Dare to be a cowboy, or at least get to know one

Fred Crane • A great interview by Teton Valley News before Fred's early departure from this world

Some thirty-five years ago, Crane was at a rodeo where the announcer didn’t show up. And anyone who’s ever been to a rodeo knows the announcer is an essential part of the show. Recognizing Crane’s knack for loquacity, someone pointed to him and said, “You’re full of s***, why don’t you do it?”

Crane’s been announcing rodeos ever since.

“I figured out they’d let me in free,” Crane said. “And then they gave me money!” ............. Rest of Story

My Free Horse ~ a funny story

One day my neighbor Cheryl asked whether I'd like a free horse a friend of hers was trying to unload. I asked the appropriate questions of why the horse was free. The story was, although broke no one could ride her as she spooked easily. I have trained spooks, and other horses inexperienced riders couldn't handle and I had successfully turned them into good horses. Now I'm not a good horse trainer, but I am cheap. What I lack in good sense I make up for in my willingness to do reckless things. of the story

A man on a horse
Yellowstone / Teton Region Rodeos
Teton Valley Rodeo

Jackson Hole Rodeo • (Jackson Hole) Wednesday & Saturday at 8 p.m. Unlike the larger gatherings in other parts of the state, Jackson maintains it's local, "anyone who has the gumption can do it" attitude that makes it representative of both the community and the original intention of the sport. Noted for fine stock, young cowboys coming up through the ranks and people who just love it, it's a great choice for action-packed fun during summer nights in Jackson Hole.

Cody Nite Rodeo • (Cody WY) Every night, June 1st to August 31st, you can see America's original sport - RODEO - in Cody, Wyoming. With over 55 years of performances, the Cody Nite Rodeo has earned Cody the title Rodeo Capital of the World. It's good family entertainment, and you get a look at the lifestyle of Old West Cowboys and Cowgirls. Even the kids can get in the action in the calf scramble.

Cody Stampede Rodeo - July 1-4 • (Cody WY) Top cowboys from across the continent come to Cody for the Stampede, one of rodeo's crown jewels that contestants often call "Cowboy Christmas." This is where they win the big purses, and ride the best stock. Many of these fine cowboys spend their summers in Cody, competing in the Cody Nite Rodeo and enjoying the lifestyle afforded by this great Western community.

Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo • (West Yellowstone Montana) Pull your hat down tight - get you ready to rodeo whether you are a first time spectator or a seasoned veteran competitor. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer you can find the West Yellowstone Rodeo Just south of town.

Teton Valley Rodeo • (Driggs Idaho) Welcome to the Teton Valley Rodeo: Every Friday Night of the Summer, Adult Tickets Only $10, Kids $5

InterMountain Professional Rodeo Association • Information on many regional Rodeo's

A cowgirl bringing in the remuda
A cowgirl bringing in the remuda

Our western Rodeo has evolved from an industry... from the daily routine and tasks of a low paying job with long hours performed by ranch hands who came to know very well the animals with which they lived.

If it were any other kind of job, leisure hours might have produced another kind of ball game rather than a recreation involving the very animals one had already spent long hours tending. But being a cowboy has always been more of a way of life than a job or an opportunity to get rich.

Rodeo contests are divided into two categories: 1. Those that are scored by a judge; the rough stock events of bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, and bull riding; and 2. Those which are timed for speed... cowgirls barrel racing, steer wrestling, and the roping contests.

Bronc riding and calf roping c are the events that were born on Western ranches. Being able to rope a calf or steer on the open range was a necessary skill if an animal required attention.

Often times some of the most exciting action at a rodeo is the interaction of the Rodeo Clowns and angry bulls.
Often times some of the most exciting action at a rodeo is the interaction of the Rodeo Clowns and angry bulls.

Riding broncs was part of the job for most cowboys during the course of the year as many horses were green broke at best and all needed further training. Even a well broke horse sometimes provides a private rodeo if something spooks him.

The contests of riding and roping require only two things of the horses and cattle... either to buck or to run, actions that are natural.

Rodeo contests were developed by people who deliberately chose to plan their recreation around the same animals they spent long hours working with. The contests were designed with thorough knowledge and respect of the animals' capabilities and limitations, and are regarded as reasonable use of animals.

Bull riding is the most popular event at a rodeo.
Bull riding is the most popular event at a rodeo.

The roping contest is an extension of the necessary skills developed by ranch cowboys to hold cattle for doctoring, etc., without benefit of pens and corrals. The muscular structure of a calf and its hairy, thick hide allows prudent roping without harm. As is observed, immediately upon removal of the rope, calves jog trot out of the arena in a most unconcerned manner. Calves, who soon outgrow weight limits for the event, then fulfill the same purpose they would have in the dairy or beef industry if they had not been in rodeo — or perhaps grow up to be a rodeo bucking bull.

Bull riding has become rodeo's most popular contest. It is not related to any ranch task, but the challenge has called to cowboys from the west’s earliest days

It is not unusual for a bucking horse to be kicking up its heels in fine fashion over the age of 25 years old and many bulls are still active buckers at 15 years of age. Veterinarians attribute it to the good care they receive which includes quality feed and adequate exercise.

The average bucking horse or bull works less than five minutes per year in the arena.

Each year, the cowboys and cowgirls of the various rodeo associations throughout the country honor the best performing horses and bulls in the rough stock events - bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, and bull riding. The "heart" of these honest animals to consistently turn in a good performance is greatly admired, along with the beauty of their efforts. Awards are also given to the owners of the best-trained horses ridden by the timed event competitors. The performance of rodeo animals is a matter of pride to the owners and riders. The reputations of the best ones live on in our memories and in legend long after the animals are retired.

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