These are the gates. The bucking broncos and bulls came busting out of these gates. The goal of each rider is to stay on their animal for 8 seconds.
Before the action started, a woman with a lovely vice sang the Star Spangled Banner while a woman on horseback carried the stars and stripes.
The opening event was a drill team performance by women on horses. The did all kinds of precision routines...on horseback. It was very fun to watch.
This is a bare back rider on a bucking bronco. He is really trying to hang on. There is a leather strap around the horses flanks, which seems to be what makes them buck because when the rider falls off, a horseman will ride by and take the strap off the horse and the horse calms right down and stops bucking.
Okay, so I am a little sad for the little cows but I must be in the minority because these next events seem to be very popular with the audience. I don't know the official names of the events but I call this calf wrestling. The cowboy jumps off his horse onto this little calf and wrestles it to the ground. He has to have it down for a few seconds to get points. Notice the 'Arizona Oncology' flag by the stands. They are a major sponsor of the rodeo.
I had to admire the skill of the rider and the horse in this event even though it was kind of sad for the little cow. The rider lasso's the cow, then jumps off the horse and ties it's legs together so it can't get away. The horse holds the cow still with the rope. The horse is like the seine skiff holding the boat for the set. I was amazed at how integral the horse was to this activity.
In this event, two cowboys ride after the calf and one lassos the head and the other lassos the hind feet. they winners are the ones who do it the fastest.
Women participate in Rodeos but not with the wild horses and bulls. They race their horses around barrels. There were riders from all over the region participating in this race against the clock.
Isn't this a beautiful horse.
The last event of the day was bull riding. You can see the men in the stall helping the rider get on the angry bull. The two men at the front of the stall will open the gate. To the left of the stall is the clown, in a colorful shirt and white hat. He will save the rider...really.