The Summer Heat Rushes In

Tristan Sergeant had no issues with the Uvalde, Texas weather but had his hands full with his fighting bull at the Cactus Jack PBR. (Photo by Phllip Kitts)

By Phillip Kitts

Normally, spring rodeos mean nice cool temperatures with occasional thunderstorms and lots of action. This year it seems more like things went straight from chilly winter evenings to blazing hot evenings.

Over the last month, the rodeo road has taken us lots of places and shown us how much weather can play a part in the sport. We started the month in Haysville, Kan., for a two-night Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) rodeo in its inaugural year.

The first weekend of May in Kansas should mean very tolerant temperatures with the only real threat being the risk of thunderstorms or the occasional tornado. The performance time temperatures held to tradition, which resulted in an amazing competitor and fan turn out for the first performance. Where we saw the weather influence rodeo came after the first performance.

It is becoming common for rodeos to run their slack in the evening after one of the performances. Slack is the section where they let the overflow competitors conduct their run. Normally, each performance is limited to between 10 to 15 competitors in each event. All the athletes who do not get into the performance will get to do their run in slack.

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Alex McWilliams of Paso Robles, Cali battles the South Texas heat at the Shorty Gorham’s American Freestyle Bullfights in Gonzales, Texas. (Photo by Phillip Kitts)
Logan James Allen and Jimmie Allen set the pace in team roping on night one with a 7.1 at the Auto Plaza Group PRCA Rodeo in Farmington, Mo. (Photo by Phillip Kitts)