1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

A Quick Early History of Rodeo

Early History
American Rodeo was originated in the early 1700's when the Spanish still occupied the western part of the country. Spanish cattlemen, known as vaqueros, wore the clothes and performed similar duties as the contemporary American cowboys. The vaqueros rode horses, branded animals, herded cattle, and did a lot of roping. Many of these duties have been integrated into modern rodeo events to this day.

When America expanded westward in the 1800's, the pioneers incorporated the dress and techniques of the Spanish and Mexican ranchers. They raised the cattle that fed Americans during the 19th century, and had to travel around the country sending the cattle for consumption. During these long journeys, these American cowboys would have competitions to see who was the best herder, roper and rider. These competitions led to Wild Wild West shows formed by legends like Buffalo Bill Cody, which was the forerunner to what we know today as the modern rodeo competitions.


March 22, 2010 at 3:12 am
(1) Susan says:

I’d like to know did “Buck Wyatt” who rode in the “Turtle Rodeo Association” invent knee jerking in the bareback horse riding?

April 20, 2010 at 12:31 am
(2) regina says:


I have been researching about Buck Wyatt for 10 years and have finally connected with his children. Yes. My understanding is that he did but he has not been credited for this, yet.

August 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm
(3) Glenn says:

Rodeos – Some People Call This Sport!

Imagine this: In another world where the animals ruled, they select a certain type of human with a special characteristic we would call epilepsy. The animals would use these epileptic humans to entertain themselves in a show called a rodeo.

This was all done for the entertainment of the animals. They even developed a competition based on the ‘quality’ of the thrashing display of the epileptic. A horrible thought really.

Making a horse (or bull) buck for our entertainment is like inducing an epileptic friend to have a seizure so we can watch, be entertained and have a laugh. According to my doctor, when an epileptic experiences an epileptic seizure, he or she expends a huge amount of energy and physical effort for a relatively short period of time. Post seizure they are totally exhausted. They need a period of deep rest for recovery. Compare this scenario with a horse or bull that is made to buck.

And then there is calf roping. Here’s where the real men get their jollies off. First they chase a very young calf flat out across the arena, then they hurl a rope at it and jerk it off its feet (a very real jerk on both ends of the rope), they then wrap the rope around its baby hooves to disable it whether it is conscious, injured or not. A definite contest of skill, judgement and absolute cruelty. The injuries often inflicted upon the calves are horrendous.

Some people call rodeos sport. The reality is that participants, spectators and sponsors are complicit in animal cruelty that makes the roughest Indonesian abattoir look like a picnic on the beach.

Perhaps, what is known as ‘judgement day’ is when we humans reflect upon and take full responsibility for each and every one of our actions in this lifetime.

May 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(4) Gretchen says:

Susan and Regina, can you please tell me where I can find info about Buck Wyatt? Thanks.

May 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm
(5) Gretchen says:

Could you tell me where I can find a lot of info about Buck Wyatt and/or some pictures of him?

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Rodeo

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.