What is a Rodeo?

There is no shame if you’ve landed on this article because this platform is all about educating, so pull up a seat let’s dive into what a rodeo is made up of and how rodeos work! I also want to mention that if you aren’t new to rodeo, you should still hang out and keep reading because I love hearing from other folks in the industry. Reach out let me know what you thought!

Rodeo Basics

Different Kinds of Rodeo

There are several different kinds of rodeo, not only in the US but also throughout the world. Below are just a few examples of types of rodeo that you will across.

Professional Rodeos

Professional rodeos are events that are sanctioned through an association (whole other topic). Typically these events earn points or money or the cowboy which goes towards a year-end final of some kind. Some examples of a professional rodeo are Redding Rodeo, Lost Dutchman Days, Scottsdale Rodeo, National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, and many more! Professional rodeos will usually have between 8-9 rodeo events which include barrel racing, saddle bronc, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, steer roping, team roping, breakaway roping, and bull riding.

WCRA Event

Ranch Rodeos

Ranch Rodeos can fall under the category of a professional event, but it’s a completely different setup. Here’s the rundown. A ranch rodeo typically has between 5-6 events depending on the length of the event. Rather than your standard roping and barrel racing, it’s more common to see events such as wild cow milking, trailer loading, ranch bronc riding, branding, and doctoring. These events are usually played in teams of four, and the competitors can be part of several teams.

One Event Competitions

These events are also becoming more and more common these days. We are starting to see individual events hold their own competition. For instance, the PBR only puts on bull riding events and is completely separate from rodeo. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you could find a standalone event for each main event, like barrel racing, bull riding, tow-down roping, breakaway roping, team roping, and more.

How long is a rodeo?

This question can be answered in a few different ways. First, a rodeo can be as long as three weeks or just a one-day performance. This doesn’t mean the show goes on all day, typically there are performance times set for each day. Each performance can last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on what is scheduled. Here is an example of a standard. performance:

  • Pre-Performance Entertainment
  • Grand Entry
  • Presentation of the American and State Flags
  • National Anthem and Prayer
  • Bareback Riding
  • Steer Wrestling
  • Team Roping
  • Saddle Bronc
  • Mid Performance Act
  • Tie Down Roping
  • Breakaway
  • Barrel Racing
  • Bull Riding

It’s typically up to the committee or stock contractor to set the pace and schedule for the show.

Who can put rodeos on?

Really, anyone can put a rodeo on but you have to have the right people and the right setup so it isn’t a flop. What we normally see happen is rodeos are organized by committees which are then broken down even further to take care of each aspect of the event, you’ll see that below. If it isn’t a committee then it can be a stock contractor, Chamber of Commerce, city/town/county, or business/organization. If you’re wanting to start a rodeo in your town, reach out and we can get you connected with the right people.

How much does it cost?

This is where it gets tricky because everyone’s numbers are different depending on the situation. Below are a few expenses that organizers have to consider before starting their own.

  • Stock Contractor Fee (20K+)
  • Acts for the Performance (5K)
  • Insurance
  • Cost for the Venue
  • Advertising
  • Ticketing
  • Sanctioning fees and added money
  • Plus much more!

What’s Included?

In addition to the schedule that I showed above, here are some additional events that can or could take place during a rodeo.

  • A parade
  • A carnival
  • Shopping and food vendors
  • Golf tournament
  • Dance Car Show
  • Horse Show
  • Concerts
  • The options are endless!

History of Rodeo

chores a competition. Let’s be real though, leave it to men to turn their job into a sport, am I right? But, that’s essentially what happened. A lot of the work that had to be done on the ranch back in the day is the foundation of modern-day rodeo events. For the full history of rodeo, head over to this story.

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