Ride ‘Em Cowboy…and Cowgirl!


Team Roping -- not just for men at the Cody Night Rodeo

I’m a rodeo gal at heart. After all, some of my earliest memories are of the Clovis Rodeo, watching my dad ride saddle broncs and bulls. So I’m thrilled whenever I have the opportunity to take in a rodeo on my travels. Such was the case last night, when I got to enjoy the famous Cody Night Rodeo – the longest running night rodeo in the country.

It’s not a PRCA rodeo — meaning that anyone can enter – but you will see some PRCA riders there. The cool thing about this rodeo is that it’s focused on the younger folks – the rodeo riders of tomorrow. They also don’t have to abide by the PRCA rule that limits women to only barrel racing; in fact, we saw a male-female team in the team roping events. And they even have a break-away steer roping event for the ladies.

There were a good number of college folks who put in respectable rides, and the bull-fighters were top-notch. I enjoyed seeing the young talent. I spend most of my rodeo time at the PRCA California 6-Pack rodeos, so it’s kind of fun to see the new talent in development. The pros make it look so easy, but when you see a young man or woman trying to get control of their mount, you really get the feel for how difficult this sport is. And yes, it is a sport.

Around the barrel, at the Cody Night Rodeo

For example, one young lady had a problem with her horse on the second barrel of the barrel racing event. It just got spooked, and didn’t want to go any further. To her credit, she worked with the horse, to get it to complete the course – that’s what you have to do. And it’s extremely difficult to do in a crowd-filled arena. Bu this young gal showed some great horsemanship in getting it done. No doubt we’ll see her on the PRCA circuit someday.

And for contestants under 12, they also have Junior Steer Riding and Pee Wee Barrel Racing. There is also the steer scramble, for all “under-12s” in the audience. Its just a fun night for the whole family.

Access is good at the rodeo grounds too, with plenty of accessible parking and a barrier-free pathway to the wheelchair-accessible seats.

And if you’d like to see some PRCA action in Cody, then don’t miss the Cody Stampede, over the July 4 holiday. Either way, Buffalo Bill’s home is a great place for rodeo action, so check it out on your next trek through Wyoming!