For the past five years I’ve lived near one of the United States’ top-ranked rodeos. The St. Paul Rodeo is one of eight stops on the Wrangler Million Dollar Rodeo Tour. Two years ago I went with a friend to the 75th annual St. Paul Rodeo. We didn’t have tickets to get into the arena and ever since then I’ve been dying to go. The only knowledge I have of rodeos is from the movie 8 Seconds and from the very few bull riding events I’ve seen on TV. So what I knew going into this was: bull riding, rodeo princesses, barrel racing and danger of serious injury.
Within a half hour of the start, I thought I was not going to make it through the night. The first event was the bareback riding and about half-way through one of the riders got knocked off the horse, but his foot was somehow stuck. After getting tossed around and nearly trampled on, the rider got up and walked out of the arena. Phew! My heart was in my throat!
When the winner of the bareback riding was announced and he was preparing to do his victory lap, one of the rodeo princesses came out on her horse at full speed. (The rodeo princesses precede the winners in the victory lap with a flag of one of the sponsors.) Her horse got a bit disoriented and ran her straight into the wall surrounding the arena. It was frightening! We heard that the bareback rider had tore his knee but we never heard about that poor rodeo princess!
Luckily, these two heart stopping events occurred within the first half hour and the rest of the rodeo was a bit less stressful for me. The experience was very interesting and I’m glad I went. My favorite event is the barrel racing, I love the speed and agility of the horses and their riders. And I love the fireworks after the rodeo!
Oregon Bucket List: Attend the St. Paul Rodeo, check