By MAGGIE M, Editor, thewedge.LIVE
“Howdy Ma’am,” one lanky cowboy after another said while tipping their hats. This was a new experience for this writer and despite the daunting event at hand, it was charming.
Meandering among cowboys and cowgirls backstage transported me to another time and place–not Perth. Yet, here they were.
The Bulls and Broncs Show, a professional rodeo, unraveled on June 23rd at the Perth Fairgrounds. Despite the threat of rain, people showed up in large numbers. This type of event is atypical to the area rendering it all the more special.
I watched the riders backstage strapping on their chaps and belts inches from the bulls and horses they were to ride. The animals were thrusting against the goads mere feet from me. Their power was tangible.
I reflected, these men are so young. And brave.
This was a Saturday afternoon few of us will soon forget.
“It’s a real competition,” Event Coordinator Chris McCullough, said. “There are financial rewards. Riders make their income from our shows.”
Here are the results of the competition. Tyler Waltz, Raymond Hostetler, Taycie Matthews, Natalie Spittal, Denise Stoddart, Tiara Cordick, Tyler Bauer and Luke McCoag all placed first in their respective IPRA competitions.
This show is entertainment to us; yet, for the riders it is serious business. A medic sat with a bird’s eye view of the grounds at-the-ready should anyone need urgent care.
Skill is also front and centre. “It’s all about balance,” one rider said. Clearly, they must defy gravity with only milliseconds to jig in the right position lest they be thrown to the pounding of hooves and horns.
It’s risky business riding an angry bull or a bucking horse. You could see and hear the collective gasps–not just from the audience, but also the staff. The bulls’ horns and their full weight came shockingly close to eviscerating or crushing their riders and rodeo hands.
You hold your breath. Again. And again.
The rodeo clown and Master of Ceremonies, Austin Stewart, a North Carolina resident, provided respite. With classic Southern charm he requested a photo from the ring and so we did. Although this young man is funny, he is very skilled : he twirled a pink 50-feet lasso for breast cancer over his head. (We captured it on film–stay-tuned.)
Show producers named a bull for each of its three media sponsors. The wedge bull did not get up, though the hands tried. Poor animal was not happy. He escaped his set with intermission. I felt relieved for him.
Retelling the story to one of our fans the next day, he said, “the wedge is no bull !”
UP TO THE SHOW WITH METRO
The wedge collaborated with Perth Sponsor, Metro, in the Rodeo Kids Colouring Contest prior to the rodeo. The winners received tickets for a family of five. Seen below, Metro Owner, Charlene Cadieux, holding 7-year old Ava Sargeant’s winning entry–one of three winners.
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