By sheer, beautiful luck, the Rodeo happened to be in Austin at the same time we were! Of course we immediately made plans to go!  Our first attempt was foiled by the Warby Parker party being too fabulous, but we made it the following night. And wow. That was such a different world for us.

Rodeo Austin (the world’s 5th largest indoor Pro Rodeo) is also accompanied by a carnival. Set to the backdrop of a perfect Texas sunset, it was a pretty great way to walk into the rodeo.

And it was pure Texas, everywhere! Cowboy hats, boots, lots of denim and leather. Cory and I definitely dressed up for the event (unfortunately, I didn’t snap any shots!), so we felt at home wearing our boots and hats!

The rodeo consists of 7 main events : Bareback Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie Down Roping, Barrel Racing (Ladies’ event), and Bull Riding.

As with our visit to the Bolack Museum of Fish and Wildlife, we had to momentarily suspend our discomfort of the treatment of the animals, and instead focus on the sportsmanship.

Because it was pure athleticism. Obviously, an intense amount of training goes into each and every one of the events. Watching the cowboys work so in sync with their horses was amazing. Once the calf was roped, the horse knew the exact distance to stand to keep the rope taut.

And the team roping was incredible, as well. Timing was everything – missing that one throw would knock your team out of qualifying.

This was a particularly incredible scene – during the Saddle Bronco riding, one rider jumped off his horse to land on the safety horse.

We also saw one of the Rodeo Clowns literally throw himself in front a bull to help the rider avoid being trampled. He was able to place himself so that the bull “safely” head-butted him, whereas had he not, the rider would likely have been trampled.

There’s a great amount of show involved in the entire event, from the announcer, to the events themselves, to the antics of the Rodeo Clowns. All in all, incredibly enjoyable.

It was also wonderful to see how riled up the crowd was during the women-only barrel racing event. Screaming and shouting and cheering for their favorites, much more so than for the men’s events. That was pretty wonderful to see!

It’s a Life List item to check off – and I’m not sure I’d go to another rodeo. It’s an incredible sporting event, but not quite my style!



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