The rodeo’s history is interesting and full of small competitions that pitted cowboy crews against each other in different ways.
The start of these competitions started in the 1700’s with the Spaniards and their ranch hands called vaqueros. These ranches were spread out over what is now, the American southwest, when Spain owned the land. There were several events where the ranch hands could compete. The early rodeos had events such as horse breaking, which could become very dangerous if one was not careful, herding, which turned into a larger competition as the ways of the cowboy became more popular, and branding the critters. In the 1800’s, cattle drives were a huge part of cowboy life, with paths like the Chism, the Goodnight-Loving, and the Santa Fe were ways to get the cows from the southwestern parts of the United States into the eastern areas of america. At the end of the paths, the cowboys who had to dismiss the stress of the drive frequently held competitions between crews to see who was the best. This would eventually become an entertainment form for people of the frontier towns, such as Prescott, Arizona or Cheyenne, Wyoming. They used lots of the events mentioned previously, which gave birth to the modern rodeos of now.
The modern rodeo is governed by the rules and regulations set forth by IGRA. Its rule book can be found on the internet and covers every aspect of rodeo life from association requirements to professional behaviour in the stadium and other areas where the rodeo is being held. One of the chief concerns with the animals is how the rodeo hands get the animals to buck so much. This happens because the animals are made to put on a flank strap that binds the testicles. The 8 second rule was established for the protection of the animals, largely because the animal gets fatigued and the adrenaline stops flowing as much. Additionally, it helps keep the creature wild and unbroken, so that it may perform in different rodeos.
The security of the cowboy is almost secondary to the safety of the animals. Horrible injuries and death happen every year from trampling or by being thrown to the fence that divides the crowd from the arena. If this is the sport for you, make certain you have the correct training and some sort of protection to your upper chest and stomach region. This is the place where accidents occur the most.