Friday we were in Pinedale, WY for the Green River Rendezvous. The town was quite festive celebrating its mountain man history! There were all sorts of vendors set up along the main street and folks dressed up in historic costumes roaming about town. We decided we would experience some local culture and go to the rodeo. It was an interesting view of western life. We had the best time!
We were amazed at the skill (horse and rider) of the barrel racers.
The peewee barrel racers were adorable! The little girl in the first picture was riding a stubborn mule named Peanut. He wouldn’t cooperate, but she didn’t give up. I’m sure she’s going to be a great barrel racer someday!
There were tie-down and breakaway roping events.
Here are the saddle bronc and ranch bronc events. Apparently, saddle bronc is the safer event, as the announcers colorfully explained, because the saddle in that event doesn’t have a horn. (Let me add, the announcers were a riot! They were two older gentlemen that had to put in great amounts of effort and energy to keep their commentary family friendly. And their jokes were so bad they were good. Haha!)
These two gentlemen are the buckaroos. They were brave and highly skilled. After the 8 second ride was complete (if the rider was still mounted), they would ride up alongside the bucking bronco so that the rider could jump onto their horse, slide across the back, and dismount on the other side to safety. They would then lasso the horse, flank it on either side, and bring it back into its holding pen. It was quite impressive to watch!
It was hard to get good pictures of the bull riding event. Most of the gentlemen didn’t make the 8 seconds. The most amazing thing about this event, for me, was the bravery (foolishness?!?) of the rodeo clowns! They were quick to come to the rescue of riders on the ground by refocusing the bulls attention on themselves. You can see the clown in the cowboy hat and peach shirt running toward the bull and downed rider. Fortunately for him, he is quick on his feet!
And this leads me to the final event, the “ring of fire”! It sounded mysterious and we had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be the craziest thing we’d ever seen! The rodeo clowns painted five circles on the ground. Then 5 volunteers (Young men with more spunk than sense, if you know what I mean! I am pretty sure most of them were bull riders.) put on protective vest and stood in the circles. Once they were in their places the bull was released. The last man still standing in his circle wins.
The bull came out charging. About 2 seconds after the second picture was taken, the young man in the red vest with the bull headed for him was flipped up in the air and promptly thrown to the ground. There was a collective gasp and shriek from the audience. It was scary to watch! The rodeo clown quickly came to the rescue, at which point the dude in red made a fast break for the fence, but was himself flipped into the air by the bull. At this point, all of the fellows were fast on their feet and headed to the fence! In good news, both the contestant and clown appeared to be fine, although, no doubt a bit banged and bruised.
The evening ended with what was perhaps the most beautiful sunset I’d ever seen! I wish my camera could have captured the beauty, but I guess some things aren’t meant to be captured.