The cowboys of the original Wild West, way back in the latter part of the 19th Century, invented a tradition that is still alive and well – and still very popular today. Rodeo – a traditional form of cowboy entertainment, synonymous with the US State of Texas, still attracts large crowds, over 100 years after famous cowboys such as Bill Pickett first began to take their shows on tour.
After the American Civil war, the era of the cattle drive began. The cattle farmers of the wild cattle in the South West of the country would use horse to drive vast herds of cattle East where there were potential buyers. The art of the cowboy, and the skills that were part of the cattle drive, led to competitions between each other, and people mastering the skills in order to compete with other cowboys.
During the 1800s, many settlers came from England to Texas, where there were also a large number of Spanish and Mexican settlers, being on the Mexican border. The market for beef in America was growing, and taking advantage of this, and drawn by the seemingly appealing, adventurous life of a cowboy attracted many a young man, and learning the skills required from the Spanish settlers, the competitions between local ranches really took off.
Quickly growing, small competitions between local ranches, grew as word spread. William F Cody became a famous name (better known as ‘Buffalo Bill’) and rodeo events spread throughout the state and became major annual celebrations. Word stared to spread around other states, and many cowboys would sign up to rodeo competitions. This worked out well as work on the ranches was seasonal so was a handy additional income.
By the time the 1920s came around, rodeo had gained so much popularity, that it had spread across the whole of the United States, with the rodeo show in New York City being particularly spectacular, lasting up to a month or more, and immediately followed by a rodeo show in Boston.
Rodeo is still an incredibly popular attraction these days, and many rodeo associations have been formed, with sum large prizes for the winners. You don’t have to be a cowboy to take part in a rodeo though – rodeo bull manufacturer http://www.gsrodeobulls.com/can bring the fun of the rodeo to you, or you can head over to Texas, the home of rodeo, to see some authentic rodeo shows for yourself!