Rim Country’S Western Heritage Celebrated At Spring Rodeo

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

Mutton bustin’ is always a crowd pleaser at the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo. It’s fun for the youngsters and a treat for the adults. The sheep can hold their own too, and, in fact, sometimes get the better of the little competitors who try to ride them in the arena.

The rustic days of the Old West are long gone, as are most of the unique characteristics that made up the American cowboy’s way of life.

As the remaining open country is gobbled up, the free-roaming lifestyle of the cowboy is changed daily. But in certain arenas throughout the land, the spirit of the West lives on through the sport of professional rodeo.

Rodeo cowboys keep the skills of the West’s working cowboy alive. Jobs such as roping cattle and breaking horses, which were refined by 19th century cowhands, continue today in competition among today’s rodeo cowboys.

Rodeo was born on the ranches of western America.

Informal competitions sprang up among cowpunchers to determine the best riders and ropers. These duels of the range and prairie grew so popular they moved into towns where rules were established, then standardized. And then rodeo became a formal sport.

Rodeo’s prize money is good, but many competitors continue day-to-day jobs.

While rodeo is a hobby for most PRCA competitors, the spirit and tradition defined by those early cowhands are carried on by today’s rodeo cowboys.

Courtesy PRCA

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