Sunday morning, we drove into White river for an interdenominational faith service. It was inspiring, and reminded us that we should thank the Lord for our blessings, and that we are all part of one big family.
That afternoon, we enjoyed the Mellette County rodeo……
The bucking broncos……..
And the brave cowboys……Hanging on as long as they could, until…….
Down they go! It all happens so fast!
There was calf roping and steer wrestling………
And a rather strange competition known as ‘mutton busting’. They place a small child (with a helmet) on the back of a sheep, and tell them to “hang on”……The sheep bolts out of the pen…. the kid falls off, and they pick him up, dust him off and hand him a medal. And that, folks, is how cowboys are raised…..
The barrel racing was prettier to watch…..
But, it is the bull riding that everyone hangs around for!
The bulls are BIG and MEAN…….
If you note in this picture, there is a rodeo clown in the yellow ‘Coors’ barrel. The clowns and the bull runners are there to distract the bull once the rider is down. Thank goodness that the barrel is padded!
In this event, once the bull gets rid of that pesky cowboy rider, the wranglers pretty much just have to coax and wait until the bull decides to go into the corral.
The last event, the Wild Horse Race, was the next thing to insanity……about 6 wild, unbroken horses, each with a rope tied to their halters, are turned loose for 6 teams of 3 wranglers each to chase around…….being dragged through the dirt…….
Trying to control their assigned wild horse, and put a saddle on it….
Then try to stay on it and ride across the arena.
This event was CHAOS! The horses won…no team managed to ride their horse for more than an instant. And, it ended with at least three seriously injured cowboys. Sheer insanity!