Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I live in Tucson and we have Rodeo break here, where we get off Thursday and Friday from school in honor of the annual rodeo (but we don't get President's Day off) – it’s strange, I know, but that’s Tucson for you. And I’m not about to complain, since I get two days off. :D
Anyway, in honor of our break, here are 13 random facts about the Rodeo:
1. The word “rodeo” is loosely derived from the Spanish word for “round-up,” or literally, rodear, “to surround.”
2. Rodeo events are based on the real-life skills of working vaqueros and cowboys, first in Spain and Mexico, and later in the United States, Canada and Australia.
3. Bull wrestling, practiced long ago in Mediterranean countries including Spain, may have been an Olympic event in ancient Greece.
4. The first recorded rodeo was held in Arizona in 1864.
5. William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, created the first major U.S. rodeo and Wild West Show in 1882, in North Platte, Nebraska. (HE’S MY GREAT, GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHER ON MY MOTHER’S SIDE.)
6. Women joined the rodeo circuit in the 1890s. Women of this era often rode broncs and bulls and roped steers against male competitors — and sometimes won!
7. Before World War I, competitors couldn’t earn a living on rodeo winnings alone, so many were also Wild West show performers or performed entertainment acts at rodeos. Vaudeville hosted many of these acts during the rodeo off season.
8. In the era of non-standardized rodeos, cowboys and cowgirls often did not know the exact events being offered or the rules of competition until after they paid fees to enter the contest.
9. In 1940, Gene Autry became so popular as a rodeo singer that even today rodeo producers attract crowds with country singers headlining at rodeos.
10. In 1991, Wade Leslie scored the only 100-point bull ride in the history of rodeo.
11. Modern bucking broncos are not wild horses but are bred for use in rodeos. A proven bucking bronco may cost between $8,000 and $10,000.
12. Rodeo is the official state sport of Wyoming and Texas.
13. For many colleges, particularly in the West, rodeo is an official team sport.
Taken from (and there’s more there, too): http://ramonajournal.com/rodeo-fun-facts-p3409-160.htm
Oh, and BTW - I've never actually been to the rodeo. Go figure.