- June 19, 2020
- Jolyn Young
So far, the rodeo scene for 2020 has been pretty quiet. Due to bans on large events prompted by the spread of the new coronavirus, both pro and ranch rodeos were canceled across the nation for most of the spring run. But, restrictions on large public gatherings are now lifting and rodeos are resuming for the busy summer season.
Last month Cave Creek, Arizona held the first pro rodeo since the coronavirus lockdowns began. No spectators were allowed, and contestants were required to wear masks when not competing. Smaller towns are holding their customary ranch rodeos as well, but without mask and spectator restrictions. We went to a ranch rodeo in our small Nevada town last weekend, and man oh man, I was ever grateful. After an unexpected season of isolation, it was so nice to visit with friends, cheer on my husband’s team, and watch my kids play in the dirt with their friends.
Ranch rodeos are essential to ranching communities. For most cowboy families, they are the main events on our social calendar. They are where we interact with friends, forge career connections, and improve our horses and horsemanship skills. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the wits of another (Proverbs 27:17). Cowboys and cowgirls thrive off riding with peers in a competitive environment. Cowboys for hire can go to a rodeo jobless and leave with a start date at a local ranch. Ranch folks are usually pretty busy ranching, but we all turn up at the rodeo arena for some entertainment and socialization. We excuse ourselves from our day jobs because hey, rodeos are job-related. It’s like going to work with all your friends and a concession stand that serves the best cheeseburgers you’ve ever eaten since the last ranch rodeo.
This steer is as good as caught at the Fast Pace Ranch Rodeo.
Trailer loading is a fun event common at rodeos in the West. Here, a horseback cowboy and his footback teammate guide a steer into the parked trailer
The ladies can bring it, too. This rodeo featured a women’s division, with several local teams entering up.
Roping steers substituted for yearlings in the branding contest. Here, a team has one headed and heeled while a member of the ground crew applies the paint brand.
Ranch rodeos are a great place for kids to get in on the cowboy action. Here, my four-year-old son Milo sits in front of his dad in the saddle while our one-year-old son Levi rides with Mindy Goemmer, a family friend.
These three horses alertly watch the competition. Do you think they’re cheering on their equine friends or taking notes? I think they are wishing they were drinking an ice cold lemonade. Oh, wait – that was me. Because boy, was it hot that day! But that’s rodeoing. Here’s to a fun, action-packed rodeo season that is finally reopened!
About Jolyn Young
Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....