USA: Six great rodeos

Rodeos are still big drawcards in many of America's former frontier states. Photo / Thinkstock
Rodeos are still big drawcards in many of America's former frontier states. Photo / Thinkstock

CHEYENNE FRONTIER DAYS, WYOMING

"The Daddy of 'Em All", this is the world's largest outdoor rodeo and dates back to 1897, just 15 years after Buffalo Bill started the rodeo tradition with his travelling Wild West show. Wyoming is known as the Cowboy State and its capital city was once nicknamed Hell on Wheels. Things are more sedate now but every July professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for big prizes and titles. Outside the rodeo rings there's a thriving carnival atmosphere.

PENDLETON ROUNDUP, OREGON

Another century-old event. In September, cowboys and cowgals line up for bareback and saddle-bronc riding, team roping and bull riding. Other activities include wild cow milking, a children's rodeo, parades and pageants.

PRESCOTT FRONTIER DAYS, ARIZONA

The world's oldest rodeo, dating back to 1888. The main riding event at the June/July festival, the Cowboy Capital Bull Riding, even has a before and after dance.

NATIONAL FINALS RODEO, NEVADA

This 10-day December event in Las Vegas is the USA's premier rodeo event, and is often described as the World Series and the Super Bowl rolled into one. The country's top 15 cowboys and cowgirls compete for the title.

THE RENO RODEO, NEVADA

The "Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West" has been thrilling audiences since 1919. The week-long event includes a cattle drive, a golf tournament and an Xtreme Bulls event.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN STAMPEDE, COLORADO

The Greeley stampede dates back to the late 1800s and was started to honour the community's potato farmers. It's now an internationally acclaimed festival which attracts more than 250,000 people to watch the pro-rodeo stars, kids' rodeo; country and rock concerts and the televised July 4 parade.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on the USA's rodeo scene or try the 'Trip Tuner' for additional holiday inspiration.

- NZ Herald

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