Rodeo: Dust and Blood

Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN

The rodeo this year was a two day event held at the airport. The rodeo included bull riding, roping, barrel racing and several other feats of skill that cowboys developed on the job.

The calf roping was exciting. The calves kept avoiding the lasso and the riders had a tough day of it, as the calves were fast and kept avoiding the rope.

The steer wrestling is insane. In steer wrestling the cowboy chases a steer on his horse and when he catches up to the steer, he jumps from his horse onto the steer’s neck and wrestles the steer to the ground. If the cowboy leaves too early he breaks the barrier and is penalized 10 seconds, so he has to really time his start.

The girls were not left out. They competed in the cowgirls break away roping. The cowgirls had to throw a rope around the calf and when the rope left the horse the clock was stopped.

Ladies Barrel Racing Competition during the Florida Agricultural and Wildlife Expo Sunday in Brooksville

They also had an event for the kids. They had to take off their shoes and run from one side of the arena to the other, then put their shoes on and run back across the arena.

There was another event for the ladies: barrel racing. Riders had to race around three barrels and if they knocked over a barrel there was a 5 second penalty.

They had an exhibition where Rawhide, a cowboy, demonstrated his ability to use the bullwhip. He used the whip to herd two longhorn bulls around the arena. The crack of the bullwhip is said to be the origin of the term cracker, which is used to refer to early settlers of Florida.

Team roping followed. Two cowboys rope a calf: one takes the head and the other takes the heels. The head cowboy throws the first lasso on to the steer. He then holds the steer and the cowboy responsible for the heel throws the lasso on to the steer’s heels. Both cowboys have to successfully rope the steer for it to count.

Bull Riding was the final event. Bull riding is known as the most dangerous 8 seconds in sports. The bulls were doing well, it took a while for a cowboy to make it a full eight seconds.

Men’s Bull riding Competition continued on Sunday during the 3rd Annual Florida Agricultural and Wildlife Expo at the Brooksville Tampa Bay Airport in Brooksville.

If you missed the rodeo this year, now don’t get “rantankerous,” they are planning on having a rodeo again at next year’s Florida Agriculture and Wildlife Expo.