Rodeo

Captain Cavedweller and I spent the weekend in Pendleton at the World Famous Pendleton Round-Up.

As usual, it was loads of fun. My brother and his wife, and three of his grandkids met us there to watch the parade together (along with two of my cousins and their families). Then CC and I went off to the rodeo (the others had gone the day before).

I shared a bunch of these photos on my facebook page, but below I’ll include a few more.

Enjoy!

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This is the Cowboy Mounted Band. They do an excellent job and it’s so fun to see them perform on horseback. They ride in the parade and sometimes do an extra performance or two downtown in the morning before the rodeo begins.

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These mounted Marines rode out into the arena on Saturday. Each performance begins with someone singing the Star-Spangled Banner. During the “bombs bursting in air” part, a few fireworks go off. When they did on Saturday, the Marines’ horses got a little squirrelly. Both CC and I were so impressed because not a single one of them dropped the salute they held.

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Check out this cowboy’s hair.

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Pictured here, too, on Friday.

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And look at his hat!

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Bareback riding is wild and hard on the body (as you can see in this photo).

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Nothing like doing the splits while you ride…

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I love the colors of his chaps!

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And this is the Bareback Champion Tim O’Connell from Zwingle, IA.

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This is Cody Kiser. He’s a bareback rider – and a stunt man! He doubled for Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. How fun is that? He’s also a spokesperson for the Oral Cancer Foundation, encouraging kids of all ages to stay away from chew and cigarettes.

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One of my favorite events is Saddle Bronc riding.

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It’s almost an art form to watch the cowboy and horse compete in a dance of wills and skills.

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There is a beauty in the fluid grace of their rides.

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Look at the little kick of dust by the tail.

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This is Jake Wright. His twin brother Jesse won the event. If you aren’t familiar with the Wright family, you should Google them. There are several brothers competing professionally. Cody is the oldest and we watched both him and his son Ryder ride on Friday. Cody didn’t make it to Saturday’s round, but Ryder did.

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And here’s Jesse’s winning ride. In the program, his contestant number was listed as 666, but the number he wore to ride was 700-something. Can’t say I blame him for wanting a different number!

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If you’ve read any of my Rodeo Romance books and wondered what some of the terms referred to, here’s a little tutorial. In The Christmas Cowboy, Tate is a Saddle Bronc rider, so you read bout him holding the bronc rein. That’s what it looks like. It is the only thing he holds onto during his eight-second ride.  In Capturing Christmas, Kash is a stock contractor who gets behind the chutes and pulls flank straps. Those straps are sheepskin-lined or a padded leather strap. It is adjustable to fit each individual horse and released by a quick-release catch. The purpose is to encourage the animal to buck better. It does not cause them any injuries.

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And steer wrestling…

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These guys are strong… and determined!

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I thought this was a fun shot – love the purple leg wraps!

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For those of you who have never been to a rodeo, the guy on the left is the header. He ropes first and catches the head. The guy on the right is the heeler.

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The first day, we were sitting close to the chutes so this is the only shot of Bull Riding I got that turned out.

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The second day we sat across the arena and I got a few shots of bull riding. I thought you might like to see how much air both the cowboy and the bull got on this ride.

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This bull crashed right out of the chute. Both cowboy and bull got up and went on about their business as though nothing had happened.

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This is World Champion Bull Rider Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, OK. He was the winner of Bull Riding at the Round-Up.

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I didn’t take any Barrel Racing photos on Friday. Saturday it started to pour just before the Barrel Racing started. I felt so bad for these girls. The arena was a slick mess.

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But they got out there and gave it their best!

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In addition to the regular rodeo events, there were trick riders.

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And the lovely Round-Up Court presenting awards (like these Pendleton Wool blankets).

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The Pendleton Round-Up isn’t all cowboys.

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There is a huge encampment of teepees. Each day, members of the tribes join in the center of the arena and dance.

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Many ride around the track, showing off their beautiful regalia, like this adorable little angel.

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Again, for those of you who’ve never attended a rodeo, these are the pick up men. They help keep the cowboys safe by getting them off the bucking animal as quickly as possible once that eight seconds is up. They help if a cowboy gets tangled in his rigging, and they also herd the bucking animal out of the arena once the ride is over.

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I thought it might be fun for you to see them at work.

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Doing what they can to help out the riders.

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During the timed events (like roping and steer wrestling) the cowboys stand around and watch.

And that’s it for this year’s Round-Up.

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