When you are in cowboy country, there is one thing that you have to do. Ride horses? Drink beer? Rope cows? Well…it is kind of a combination of those and more. You have to go to a rodeo. Mama Nomad has been to rodeos when she was a little girl. But, as many places as I have traveled to and as many things as I have done, watching a rodeo has never been checked off. That is until now.
In the United States, as far as I can tell, there are two major rodeo associations in this area: the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Northern Rodeo Association (NRA). We went to a PRCA Rodeo in Miles City, Montana. Which is the largest and most populated city in Southeast Montana with about 8,400 people.
I honestly and sincerely had no idea what to expect. We picked up our tickets at the Chamber of Commerce in order to avoid any lines at the gate. As far as rodeos are concerned, the price was not bad at $15 per adult and $9 per kid. We went on a Tuesday night (August 23rd). If we would have gone on Wednesday, the price would have been higher because they had a fair going on and the entrance fee was $3 per person on top of the ticket price. Mama Nomad was real happy because the parking was free. She loves free parking in Monopoly and in real life.
We arrived an hour early. You read that right, an hour early! The seating was open with the exception of a few reserved boxes. Our plan of arriving early to get good seats paid off. We were first row, in the center. We settled in, took a few family pix, grabbed a couple of cold ones and waited while we watched different cowboys and cowgirls practicing.
Promptly at 7pm the master of ceremonies kicked things off. We had an older gentleman ride around the arena in a wagon with a younger guy. The wagon was flying the colors of the sponsors. And, apparently the older gentleman was a regular rodeo cowboy until he retired. After that we had youngster cowboys and cowgirls ride out with more flags of the rodeo sponsors and two adult cowboys come out with the Montana State Flag and the United States Flag. After the national anthem and a prayer for those about to perform, the event got kicked off.
I do not know how to properly comment to the level that rodeo fans would appreciate. But I can give comments that a first time goer would say. So, if you are a rodeo aficionado, cut me some slack. The events that took place were bareback bronco riding, saddled bronco riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and bull riding. We took lots of pix, as usual, and they will be displayed in no particular order.
One thing we all picked up on was that there are a few families that are well known because they are multi-generational rodeo families. One we noticed in particular was the Wright Family. Apparently there are 13 siblings and 6 of them became rodeo professionals. One of those Wrights, Cody, was at this PRCA Rodeo in Miles City. Cody Wright is a 2 time world champ in saddle bronc riding.
Cody has two sons named Rusty and Ryder. Both of them are rodeo professionals and we had the pleasure to see the youngest one, Ryder (18) perform. During this rodeo season, starting in March, Ryder has already won more than $50,000! And, wouldn’t you know it, he won the Saddle Bronc Riding that night! And he took home another $1,697 for 8 seconds of performance. Let me tell you, his performance was impressive. For all results of the rodeo, you can see them here.
The rodeo lasted about 2 hours or so. I can definitely say that this was a very positive experience for all of the Nomads. We are very appreciative for each and every cowboy and cowgirl that performed to make this such an enjoyable experience. We are also grateful that no one was injured (other than the pride of some who got penalties or no times). If you are ever in Cowboy Country, take a moment and check out a rodeo. Safe Travels.