I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t been to the rodeo more than once before my trip to the Mesquite Rodeo. The first time I ever attended a rodeo was last year at the Texas Stampede held in Allen, Texas. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was born and raised in the Dallas, I wear cowboy boots every chance I get and I love me some country music. I learned quickly that I wasn’t as country as I thought.
The Mesquite ProRodeo Series was in full action during my Friday visit. There were over seven different competitions that were held throughout the night ranging from Bareback riding to Team Roping. When entering the Rodeo you will be given a pamphlet and a sheet with each event, who is competing and a space for you to write down their times. I noticed many people in the audience tracking times of each event. I was just there for the fun and atmosphere so I didn’t track any times, I would just peek at my neighbors sheets to see who won. Yes, that is completely lazy but I’m sure they didn’t mind. Considering I’m a newbie to the whole sport, I was confused about what each event was all about and how they were scored. Here is a quick break down of the events held at a Rodeo.
- Bareback: The cowboy attempts to stay aboard a high jumping horse for an 8 second ride with only a leather circingle around the horse with a built in handhold.
- Saddle Bronc: Equipped with just a saddle and a hack rein, the cowboy tries to ride the bucking horse for 8 seconds while keeping his toes turned outward while he spins the horse’s shoulders to the back of the saddle.
- Bull Riding: The cowboy wraps his hand in a hand braided rope positioned just behind the bull’s shoulders. The object to ride for 8 seconds them dismount without getting stepped on or ran over.
- Tie Down Roping: Allows the calf a head start as the cowboy follows closely and tries to rope and tie the calves three legs in the fastest time possible.
- Steer Wrestling: Also known as bulldogging, the steer is given a head start. The cowboy rides along the steer, dismounts his horse and flips the steer as quickly as possible.
- Team Roping: Consist of two skilled ropers – a header and a heeler. The header ropes the steer around its head or horns and turns the steer to the left. The heeler moves in and ropes the steer’s hind feet. Time ends when their horses are facing each other.
- Barrel Racing: Each cowgirl crosses a designated starting line and runs a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels then exits the way they entered. The fastest time wins.
Each event had me at the edge of my seat, excited to see what would happen next or who would win the competition. I loved watching the Mutton Bustin’. This was a kid’s event in the middle of the rodeo that children 4 years of age and younger get to ride an actual sheep and they get judged on how well they ride. The little kids get on the sheep’s back and hold on for their life. Some of the kids last 0.5 seconds while others hold on til the very end.
There was not a dull moment, in between events we enjoyed a clown who showed his butt crack and entertained the crowd with his silly jokes. A couple times when the clown wasn’t around, we cheered on wagon races. Before the race started, we chose a color – either red or green and cheered on our color for the win. I can only imagine how much fun the wagon handler was having. It looked like the wagon was going to flip at every turn because of the speed the horses were running. Here is a short clip of the races, listen to the crowd’s excitement.
Although all of the events at the rodeo are fun to watch, the favorite of many people is Bull Riding. They save the best event for last and it’s worth the wait. I didn’t know what to think when I saw this large circular structure being lowered down into the arena then when I took a good look at it, it said “Shark Tank.” What in the world would they be doing with a shark tank in the middle of the bull riding area? Well, I found out that you can buy tickets to sit in the Shark Tank during the bull riding so you are at eye level with the bull. SCARY. The bulls came so close to ramming the shark tank, I can only imagine the excitement of sitting inside!
The bull riding was so fun to watch, could you imagine riding a bull? They cowboys and cowgirls not only put on an awesome show but allowed us all to see their skill and what they work so hard to achieve. If you ‘re looking for a fun date night or a place that has fun for your whole family, head to the Rodeo for some all American fun!
Check out all the different events at the Mesquite Rodeo here.
1818 Rodeo Drive
Mesquite, Texas 75149