The Eagle County Rodeo never disappoints and this year was no different. We pulled into the Eagle County Fairgrounds and the rides were spinning with plenty of children laughing and screaming with every turn.
We checked out the rides and games and then made our way over to the rodeo. We stopped by the cowboy hat booth first because for some reason when you are at a rodeo you feel like a cowboy and you need a cowboy hat.
The smells of Rodeo food was overwhelming the choices were plenty. Turkey legs, bacon wrapped sausages, sweet potato chips and of course the crowd pleasing funnel cake.
We made our way over to the fresh authentic tacos which were delicious and then back to the funnel cakes.
We found our seats in time for the National Anthem. There are not many more places that you feel more patriotic than a rodeo. It was a packed house and we were all ready for a great time at the Eagle County Rodeo!
It is a fun and fast moving event. There are about eight events and they only last about 10-15 minutes. There was Saddle Bronc Riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, mutton busting and of course bull riding. As to be expected some cowboys had an easier time than others.
The bareback riding was nerve wracking and very intense. How they hold on without a saddle is beyond me. It’s been compared to riding a jackhammer with one hand. WOW! According to the Eagle County website: “To stay aboard the horse, a bareback rider uses a rigging made of leather and constructed to meet PRCA safety specifications. The rigging, which resembles a suitcase handle on a strap, is placed atop the horse’s withers and secured with a cinch.” This is one of the toughest events and the cowboys say that this is the “Cowboy Way”.
Both tie-down and team roping events were fun to watch. It was amazing how fast these cowboys roped the calf and jumped off of their horse in order to tie it up.
The announcers and especially the rodeo clown kept the crowd entertained. There was never a dull moment. Intermission shows brought magnificent mustangs and their riders to the center of the arena. Where we learned some history of the rodeo and the cowboys that make this their life.
A crowd favorite is the mutton busting. This is where young children wearing what looks like a hockey helmet ride a sheep for as long as they can hold on. This was funny to watch and the kids loved it.
The barrel riding is where the cowgirls shine. Well of course besides the rodeo queen. The object is to get around 3 barrels in a clover pattern and be the fastest racer. If you miss or knock down a barrel the rider is penalized.
Bull Riding is just plain crazy. It’s where the cowboy hops on a 2,000 pound bull and goes for a ride. The rider tries to stay on the bull for 8 seconds using only one hand gripping a rope around the bull’s chest.
This was the grand finale and everyone stayed to watch these cowboys go at it. They did not disappoint.
After the event ended we walked around the fairgrounds. We said hi to some young cowboys and fairgoers. Under the stands was a nice riverwalk that some vendors sold items and that allowed us to go behind the scenes and visit the horses and ranch hands.
We had a great time at the Eagle Rodeo and we can’t wait to come back next year.