rodeo

Aaron Schrank

Ryan Reed loves rodeo. And each July, he makes a pilgrimage here, to the so-called “Daddy of ‘Em All” in Cheyenne.

“You just feel like you’re on hallowed ground when you’re here.” Reed says.

Roaming the Frontier Days midway, this amateur steer wrestler and calf roper is like a kid in a candy store. 

“Yesterday, during the bareback bronc, I actually got some dirt flung on me,” says Reed. “I really felt like I’d been hit by some special dirt or something. That’s just kind of the feeling I have about the place.”

Aaron Schrank

The rodeo may be the best-known competition at Cheyenne Frontier days, but outside the arena there is another group of skilled professionals vying for glory. Carnival games operators leverage years of practice and skill to convince people like you to pay cash for the opportunity to win a push, stuffed prize. For many of them, it's not just a job: it's a way of life. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan spent time with a few of these games operators and has this postcard.

Bob Beck

It’s another day at the bull riding event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo and it’s another day of the rodeo announcer thanking bullfighter Darrell Diefenbach for knocking a bull away from a helpless bull rider who’d fallen to the ground. It’s something Diefenbach and his Frontier Days partner Dusty Tuckness do every day.

Melodie Edwards

When you think of a rodeo star, it’s usually a guy on a bucking horse, not a woman. But there is one age-old rodeo event that was developed especially for women: barrel racing. It’s been around since the early 1900’s, but it’s not for wimps. Racers on horseback make loops as fast and tight as they can around three barrels set up in a triangle before heading back to start--and they do it in all in under 18 seconds.

Caroline Ballard

Cowboys in Levis, bucking broncos, and raging bulls in a dirt arena are probably the images that come to mind when you think of a rodeo. The events aren’t exactly known for their glamour. But at Cheyenne Frontier Days, two of its most recognizable faces are known just as much for their outfits as they are for their riding. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard finds out what it’s like to be Miss Frontier and her Lady In Waiting.

Miles Bryan

When it opened in 1963 Sheridan’s King’s Saddlery was a small shop serving surrounding ranching and horse backing community. In the forty years that followed King’s became an institution. Founder Don King’s distinctive Sheridan style leatherwork is the finest in its class, and enthusiasts come from around the world to see the saddlery and the attached museum.

Georgia Wier

Like his dad and two uncles, Curt Artery is a rancher. His involvement  in rodeos gave him the idea of raising Corriente cattle—the cattle used for team roping. Curt learned to make black powder horns as a young man. Later, after thinking about the Corriente horns that would otherwise go to waste on his ranching operation, he began using them to craft jewelry and other decorative items. WPM listener Georgia Wier spoke with Artery.

Bill and Martha Saunders are long-time Jackson residents. The couple was instrumental in founding the Jackson Hole Ski Club, and their family was also central in Wyoming's rodeo scene. Bill and Martha share memories of their rodeo experiences, including Martha's tour with the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry.

The city of Rock Springs is busy getting ready to host the National High School Finals Rodeo for the second year in a row.

Organizers say this year’s event will include students from 43 states as well as from high schools in Canada and Australia. Chad Banks is the marketing director for the Sweetwater Events Complex.  He says while last year’s event was a big success for the community, there’s still some room for improvement.

Pinedale singer-songwriter Jared Rogerson has been influenced as a musician from 17 years of bronc’ riding in rodeos. He’s also explored thousands of miles in the remote Wyoming backcountry as a brucellosis biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. His new album, Dirt, was released April 17.

Jackson Hole Rodeo commits to non-sectarian prayer

Dec 18, 2012

The provider of the Jackson Hole Rodeo has agreed to change the event’s opening prayer to be non-sectarian.

Jackson Mayor Mark Barron says the rodeo used to open with a prayer that mentioned Jesus, and his office received complaints about that.

“We have contestants that don’t follow that faith,” Barron said. “We have attendees that come from around the world. And so there were some people who didn’t appreciate the Christian element of the prayer.”

The town’s new concession agreement specifies that the opening prayer will be non-sectarian.