The 21st annual Sheridan, Wyoming Elk's Youth Rodeo was held on August 24-25, 2013. The rodeo's 26 events attracted contestants from 11 states with over 1000 entries both days.
We arrived at the rodeo around lunch on Saturday, having left later than we anticipated on Friday for the 12-hour drive. Apparently it takes longer than 4 hours to move all of the critters to new paddocks (taking down and putting up their electric net fences), watering everyone, and doing all of our packing and loading. After 8 hours of chores/packing, we were finally on the road.
Friends in Rapid City put us up for the night when we rolled in around midnight, and we got a solid 6 hours of sleep before heading out for the last 3.5 hour stretch to Sheridan on Saturday morning.
The last time I had attended the rodeo I had been stationed in one of the "crow's nest" offices, helping with the timing of events. Because of this there were many events I wasn't able to see, because only the events in the arena where I was stationed were visible from my window.
This time however I was not stationed in one place, and was able to wander at will between the two arenas and the track, allowing me to see all of the events.
Here are just a few of my favorite pics from several of the events.
A team of two riders - the header and the heeler - have to rope the steer in tandem. The header has to rope the horns (and only the horns) before the heeler can rope the hind feet (both hind feet). They are timed, and there are penalties (time added) for various infractions, such as if the horses crosses a barrier leaves the box too soon (the steer has to cross his barrier first for a slight head start). Roping only one hind foot adds a five second penalty, and roping the neck vs. the horns leads to a "no time."
This event is very difficult, and there were very few teams that I saw successfully rope their steer. More often than not I watched the steer race down the arena, rope trailing from his horns, hind feet both blissfully free, the announcer sadly booming, "No time," as the riders existed the arena.
For this event a rider races straight down the track and around the last pole, then weaves between the poles down the arena and weaves through them again back up the arena without knocking any over. This event is timed, and knocking down a pole will cause a 5 second per pole penalty.
In this event a rider races to the first barrel, grabs the flag out of the bucket (without knocking off the bucket or tipping the barrel) than charges to the other end of the arena where he/she safely deposits it into the other bucket (again without knocking anything over).
Crepe Paper RacingThe object of this event is for a team of riders to hold the ends of the ribbon, which used to be crepe paper but which was found to be too fragile to hold up against even a stiff wind so was replaced with flagging tape, and race towards the end of the arena, around a barrel and back to the other end. This event is timed, and dropping or breaking the tape results in a "No time" penalty.
The younger contestants were the most fun to watch, as they attempted to rein one-handed and round the barrel without getting their horses too far apart. Their expressions were priceless.
Goat Tying and Goat Tail TyingDepending on the age of the contestant, the rider either takes a ribbon and ties it on the tail of a goat, or they get to grab the goat and get it on the ground, tying its three feet together (one front and both back). The event is timed, and if the goat kicks loose in less than 6 seconds the rider gets a "No time."
|seems like a nice day at the arena...|
|uh oh... why is that girl racing towards me on her horse?|
|Whoa! What's happening??|
|um... someone is sitting on me...|
|can't come to the phone now, I'm tied up at the moment...|
|who signed me up for this gig?|
Rodeo photos part one can be found here.
For this event the riders have to run the pattern correctly and not knock over the barrels. It is also a timed event.
OK, I know these next two pics are blurry, but can you even handle the cuteness of this kid???