The History of the Rodeo



Have you ever wondered where the rodeo came from? Here at Sheplers, we have a lot of friends who are part of the rodeo scene; thus, the history of the rodeo is nothing new to us.

Rodeoing is a competitive sport that involves horses and other livestock, designed to test the skills and speed of cowboys and cowgirls. However, the history of the rodeo is different than what it is today. The rodeo was vital to cattle-ranching in areas where the Spanish culture had a great influence. The term “rodeo” actually comes from the Spanish word “rodear”, which translates to “round up” or “to surround”, which would refer to the act of gathering cattle.

During the 1800s, land in America opened up, and raising cattle was perfect for landowners. Entrepreneurs began to organize events, similar to the rodeos we know today, which allowed for cattlemen to put their skills to work. Over time, these cattlemen and cowboys made their money through competitions that were held in front of a paying audience. The joining and gathering of all of these people turned into what we know as the rodeo today; where spectators pay to see a competition of cowboys and cattle.

The history of the rodeo turned into a competition because as human beings, it is natural to compete, especially if you have mastered a specific skill. The working cowboy is also a reason that rodeos exist. Cowboys needed work, and the expansion of land in the United States was diminishing that. From everything that we know today, the history of the rodeo grew from Spanish roots, and the Prescott Rodeo in Arizona during the 1800s.

Today, both males and females are able to compete in the rodeo. It is tradition in competition for men to wear western shirts, and of course, cowboy boots. As a female spectator, it is normal to wear a cowgirl hat in the stands, as well as comfortable cowgirl boots to kick the dust up and watch your favorite cowboy compete!

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