In the late 1800’s, in the Southwest region of Northern America, the history of rodeos commenced. A rodeo is a contest where cowboys demonstrate their cattle riding skills. During the event, cowgirls and cowboys compete on roping, riding, and wrestling. They are not only evaluated by their own performance but also the skill of their animals. In order for cowboys to train for rodeos, most people attend a rodeo school or clinic, since it is a sport that requires professional training to participate safely.
On August 24th and 25th, there was a rodeo in Rancho Mission Viejo, CA. This annual competition is called Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV) Rodeo and it takes place at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park — this year was the 19th rodeo. The price of tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for kids, and free for three year old and under.
Different organizations sponsor the RMV Rodeo such as Cox, Ladera Lending, and ALTA Quality Farm Services, Inc; in turn, RMV Rodeo has donated over $2.4 million to local charities such as Mission Camino’s Health Center, J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, Justin Sportsmedicine, and San Juan Capistrano Boys and Girls Club.
This year, a crowd of over 9,000 gathered and the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls participated to win more than $180,000. The top 30 contestants compete to win cash and winners for each event gain a chance to attend the Nationals Final Rodeo in Las Vegas for the grand prize.
The events included in RMV Rodeo are Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Bull riding, Team Roping, Down Roping, and Steer Wrestling. Saddle Bronc Riding, one of the oldest events, is when a cowboys ride unbuckled horses. They earn points based on how well they are able to control the horse and on how many seconds they are able to stay on top of the horse.
Overall, the objective for RMV Rodeo is not only to gather charities for donation and to take place for leisure, but also to preserve the diminishing cowboy culture throughout the country.
Since 1895, with the appearance of vehicles, the cowboy community has dwindled. In the 21st century, there are only 9,730 registered workers in this field. Associates of RMV Rodeo hope that cowboys gain more interest and younger generations join this community later on.
Soyeon Park, Grade 10
Tesoro High School