Rodeo Clowns, Yeah Yeah...

"Young Cowboy" Learning the Skills
First thing this morning I got Jack Johnson in a constant circle in my head with the lyrics, from Rodeo Clowns going on & on again:
“Sweepin the floors, open up the doors
Yeah turn on the lights, getting ready for the night
Nobody's romancing, 'cause its too early for dancing
But here comes the music ...”

That is how I awoke first thing. Needless to say with the changing of the clocks to spring ahead that I wasn’t really too much for getting up & at them bright ‘n early for a Sunday.  I’ve been hearing for a week now from my mom telling me how great the rodeo is.  Now, I’ve never would have imagine that I would attend such a thing, but what do you know, I did. 
My family adventure today with a few family friends was to the 85th Annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo. I felt like I was in a car ride with Clark Griswald to be honest, need I say no more.  The gates opened up at 11AM & the rodeo starts at 2PM is what I got told, price tag for the event was $17.00 USD.  For more information about the annual Arcadia Rodeo please visit: I honestly didn’t know what to expect for the event. I even had a friend of mine’s American Slag ringing in my head about cowboys…that’s another story from my days in Japan.
The town of Arcadia is about a 40 minute ride from the coast around Boca Grande, basically up US Route 17 to Clark Road & your there. You can get there from Sarasota or Port Charlotte, there’s no easy way to inland Florida to the west, only a few roads will take you there. It’s quite the charming old town with ranches & antique shops.
These Boots Are Made For Walkin' Cowgirl Style
The town is located directly on the Peace River, a major tributary of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary. The river is famous for canoeing, shark tooth hunting & it’s natural habitats for the state. DeSoto Country is located on the fringe of Florida’s citrus belt & produces oranges.  There’s a big Peace River orange processing plant on the outskirts of the town. There's also a thriving migrant workers community in the town too from the citrus growers.  Funny thing is that it is home to not just one but three rodeos. The rodeos are managed by the local rodeo association & are held in March, July & some time during the fall.
Cowboys Participating & Having Fun
Basically in a nutshell for those who don’t know, a rodeo is a competitive sport that arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico & later on in the US, Canada, South America & Australia. Originally it was based on the skills of the working vaqueros & later on the cowboys.  The sporting event today consists of a number of events that involved horses & other livestock that are designed to test the skills & speed of the cowboys/cowgirls who participate. There are a number of events ranging from the Roughstock Events of bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding; Kids Events of mutton bustin’, calf scramble, junior barrel racing, Timed Events of WPRA barrel racing, tide-down roping, steer wresting, team roping; Specialty Acts of shoot out gang & quadrille. Now since this is Florida there was also a Gator act too. The event like any other sporting event in the States starts with the National Anthem being sung, today it was sung by a young girl around eleven years old & not to forget that the cowboys/cowgirls come out in a big circle line the arena with flags from the rodeo's sponsors.
There is also the Cowboy Prayer that is read too:

Our Heavenly Father, we pause at this time,
Mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon us.

We ask, Lord, that you will be with us in the area of life.
We as cowboys do not ask for special favors.
We don’t ask to draw around the chute fighting horse, the steer that won’t lay, or to never break the barrier.
We don’t even ask for all daylight runs.

We do ask Lord, that you will help us live our lives here on earth as cowboys,  in such a manner, that when we make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green, & stirrup high, & the water runs cool, clear, & deep, that you’ll take us by the hand & say-

“Welcome to Heaven cowboy, your entry fees are paid.”

Not only to forget that the cowboy has some oaths to follow. In the Cowboy’s Ten Commandments they are as follows:
1.     Just One God
2.     Honor yer Ma & Pa
3.     No telling tales or gossipin’
4.     Git Yourself to Sunday meeting
5.     Put nothing before God
6.     No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal
7.     No Killin’
8.     Watch your mouth
9.     Don’t take what ain’t yours
10. Don’t be hankerin’ for your buddy’s stuff

Basically it was about a three hour show with heaps of action with cowboys/cowgirls from all over the country & spectator from around the world.  There’s a lot of story telling to be had here in a single day from the numerous food stands to the rodeo show to the cowboys & cowgirls from the entire world enjoying the show. It’s a great afternoon outing. However, just be careful with all the dust that gets blow around there.  Let the good times roll…

I took heaps of photos of the rodeo, my portfolio can be viewed on my private gallery on my website at: Christine Anuszewski Photography Rodeo

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