History of Rodeo

Spanish ranchers and their Mexican ranch hands (vaqueros), started the good ole’ rodeo with a mixture of cattle wrangling and bull fighting, it dates back to the sixteenth-century conquistadors.

  • The Spanish started with activities; bull riding and steer wrestling.
  • Events spread throughout New Spain and appeared at fairgrounds, racetracks, fiestas, and festivals in nineteenth century.
  • Black cowboy from Texas, Bill Pickett introduced steer wrestling by jumping from his horse to a steerโ€™s back, bit its upper lip, and threw it to the ground by grabbing its horns.
  • The first woman bull-dogger appeared in 1913, when the great champion trick and bronc rider and racer Tillie Baldwin exhibited the feat.
  • Women joined the Wild West and contest rodeo circuits in the 1890s and their participation grew as the activities spread geographically.
  • The word rodeo was only occasionally used for American cowboy sports until the 1920s, and professional cowboys themselves did not officially adopt the term until 1945.
  • Rodeos must include five events:
    • calf roping,
    • bareback and saddle bronc riding,
    • bull riding, and
    • steer wrestling,
    • with the option to also hold steer roping and team roping.
  • Today, rodeos major prize money is found in the U.S.A. – many players all over the world attempt to head overseas to stake claim on the 10+million prize money on offer.