On Wednesday night we all headed to the rodeo in Dodge City. Me, DR, Yip and Yap, Mountain Man, John Deere, Melinda Sue, Mom and Dad. Poor Yahoo had to stay home with the babysitter. (Thanks Mom for all the great photos you too that I've posted here!)
Now I've seen rodeos before....in Indiana.
And they don't even come close in comparison to a western rodeo. Dodge City's rodeo was fabulous! There were PRCA World Champions, National College Rodeo Champions, a cowboy from Australia, a troupe of trick riders who've performed on 4 continents and a barrel racer from Indiana.
And the stock!! Wow, the bulls and rough stock horses they had were AMAZING! I've never seen so many quality animals in one rodeo before.
We had the bull riders. Believe it or not but I've always wanted to try this!
Doesn't that look FUN to you? No? It does to me!
The Dodge City Boot Hill Museum Stage Coach came by between events. Those are pretty fun to ride in by the way.
Steer wrestling. Let me tell ya, these cowboys were NOT small guys! They were big and most of em' looked as though they'd fit in on the front line of the Notre Dame football team!
There were saddle bronc riders and bareback riders and the bareback, pictured above and below, looked much more difficult than the saddle bronc!
There were other events too; barrel racing, calf roping, and a rodeo clown but I was too busy watching to rodeo to get many other good photos of everything.
These girls were awesome! There were 6 of them in the troupe and they did rope tricks and trick riding. I don't have any other good pics but one of them rode around the ring on the back of the horse doing a backbend! Can you imagine????
Despite the drought we had fireworks at the end. It was more than enough to make up for the fireworks we missed on the 4th of July.
A western rodeo seems to be a much more patriotic event than others I've been to. Before the events began the American Flag was brought out and the emcee for the evening gave a moving speech about the freedom of our country and how freedom isn't free. And how we need to remember those everywhere fighting to keep us safe. The importance and respect for the military was felt deeply in the manner of the cowboys and the crowd from the very beginning. The crowd prayed and then sang the Star Spangled Banner before the rodeo started.
With that bit of background, let me tell you about my proudest moment of the evening. I had signed Yap up for the Boot Scramble. (Yip didn't want to do it.)
A Boot Scramble is where you have a huge crowd of little kids in their socks all crowded to one end of the arena.
Yap talks about wanting to be a soldier all the time and I encourage him and try my best to explain a soldier's responsibilities and dangers. But for a stranger, and a cowboy, to honor my son's dreams like that in public...I don't have the words to express how happy I was for them both at that very moment.
And for me, that was the very best part of the rodeo.