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West Yellowstone Rodeo

So, my first rodeo.

Born in the past to ease cowboys’ boredom, today’s rodeos are pure excitement!  Bareback Riding, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Breakaway Roping and Bull Riding are just some of the scheduled events.

From the Grand Entry to the closing event, there is plenty of entertainment as cowboys and cowgirls, novice and experts, test their skills.

The rodeo fairgrounds are fairly easy to find.  It is just 7 miles west of West Yellowstone & the Park entrance on Targhee Pass Highway (Hwy 20).

Beginning in 1999, the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo has grown over the last few years.  Once put on in a small arena in town, the event now takes place at a larger rodeo arena located just four miles west of West Yellowstone just off Highway 20.  The rodeo performances begin at 8:00 pm each night and continue until all scheduled events have been completed.

Rodeo is one of the true meaning remnants of the Old West.  This sport emerged from the daily routine of cowboys who worked at low paying jobs, but in close consort with the animals that they rode or tended to. The recreation that the cowhands created involved the same animals that they spent their entire day with.  Cowboying is a way of life not a job.

Riding broncs and roping calves are the events that were born on Western ranches.  Being able to rope a calf or steer on the open range was a necessary skill if an animal required attention. Riding a wild kind of horse was part of the territory, as many horses were green broke at best. The contests of riding and roping require only two things of the horses and cattle… either to buck or to run, actions that are natural.


Wales based photographer. Outdoors, nature, wildlife, travel

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