By Phillip Kitts
As the summer heats up, so does the rodeo road. Not only is the temperature outside rising but so are the competition levels in the professional rodeo world.
The spring months have a strong list of rodeos that pay out reputable amounts of money; however, as spring turns to summer, both the payout and the level of competition climbs several notches. By this time of year, rodeo competitors have knocked off the rust from the slow season and are now averaging three to four rodeos per weekend.
Many people ponder on how these athletes manage to be so many places in such a small amount of time. The technique varies from competitor to competitor, and then there are variables such as what event the competitor competes in. Because the rough stock competitors, which consist of bull riders, saddle bronc riders and bareback riders, generally only must haul a simple bag of equipment, their ability to travel is much easier. With this group of athletes, you will see large groups of them team up and rent charter planes, helicopters or nearly any mode of fast transportation they can get.
The group will all enter a rodeo the same night and utilize this mode of transportation to hit their rodeo. As soon as the last guy finishes his ride, it turns into a blinding rush as they throw all their gear into any vehicle that will get them on their way. Then all night flights will get them on to the next town and next competition.
The timed event folks have a little more of a challenge. Timed event competitors consist of team ropers, tie down ropers, steer wrestlers, and barrel racers. These folks not only have to account for very expensive horses but also thousands of pounds of saddles, tack, feed, and miscellaneous equipment that is necessary to compete in their event.
To read more pick up a copy of the August 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.