The rodeos are back in town

It’s rodeo season again. The first outdoor rodeo of the Mountain States Circuit kicks off tonight in Elizabeth, Colorado. Let ‘er buck!

This is rodeo country. Texas and Oklahoma may have more than Wyoming and Colorado, but that’s only because those states can host rodeos all year long. Out here in the Rocky Mountain West, we have to wait for good weather before we can crack the chutes on our season.

The first pro rodeo of the year happens in Elizabeth, Colorado. That’s where I’ll be this weekend, taking pictures of all the rodeo action. I might not be following the circuit as much as I did last year, but I’ll probably hit several more over the summer.

There are plenty to choose from. Nearly every town in Wyoming has a rodeo at some point in the summer. Some of those are smaller amateur or local rodeos, and some are big PRCA events. And of course, there’s the 10-day craziness of Cheyenne Frontier Days at the end of July.

Whether you’re a competitor or a spectator, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a rodeo to go to. If you want to be closer to the action, see more of what goes on behind the scenes, and maybe even hang out with the contestants, you’ll have better luck at a smaller rodeo. If you are looking for pure entertainment and don’t mind huge crowds, Frontier Days or the Sheridan WYO rodeo are a ton of fun.

Or better yet, go see a bunch of different rodeos this summer. You won’t have to go far to find one. There are rodeos every weekend all across the state, and some communities, like Cody, have rodeos every night.

If you’re not a contestant, though, be careful. It’s easy to get sucked in, and the next thing you know, you’re borrowing someone’s horse to make a steer wrestling run of your own. Or worse yet, buying a horse, a trailer, a saddle … It can be an expensive addiction.