Yee-Haw! Giddyup at The Cody Rodeo
dining & entertainment all provided by the Buffalo Bill Center of The West.
During my stay in Wyoming, I got the full Wild West experience: From touring Buffalo Bill’s home to meeting a rattlesnake behind glass, this Brit was immersed in everything cowboy. Of course, a rootin’ tootin’ rodeo is a quintessential image of old west Americana, so our hosts invited us to watch the Cody Nite Rodeo. This event is a longstanding tradition in the town, and it’s no surprise: Rodeo is the official state sport of Wyoming and was popularized in large part by Buffalo Bill, one of the main founders of Cody. The Nite Rodeo runs every evening in June, July, and August, so on a clear Friday night we headed over to watch the show.
The rodeo lasts for around two hours, with each show starting at 8 PM. It had been a lovely, sunny day, but temperatures drop fast; luckily, our hosts had anticipated this and brought cozy blankets to cuddle up under. Rodeo events included calf roping:
Caption: Cowboy with a lasso
Caption: Calf roping
Caption: Chasing a calf
Bronking bucks & barrel racing:
There were some very talented young cowgirls doing laps around the barrels. One contestant was a young girl on a smaller pony – adorable! These girls were very skilled equestrians. Watching these events showed how truly challenging they are. Bull riding:
Caption: Rodeo clown
There was also a really cute activity that any child in the audience 12 years old or younger could participate in. The children all congregated in the center of the arena so that they could chase a baby calf in order to retrieve a ribbon. The two children who caught the ribbons would win little prizes like a coupon for a free Blizzard at Dairy Queen. The rodeo clown led the children in a warm-up of stretches beforehand, including one where the children were instructed to roll around in the dirt. "That’s gonna smell good on the drive home," joked the announcer.
Children chasing the calf to win a Blizzard
Once it was time to run after the calf, the children went nuts running as fast as they could. The kids were all adorable and hilarious! There was another segment later on where the clown took a few volunteer children from the audience for a sketch. The clown used a toy gun to fire pretend shots, high-noon style, at the children, who then pretended to fall over "Dead". The children had clearly been studying up on their spaghetti westerns, dramatically dropping to their knees after being "Shot" – true thespians! But not everyone in the audience appreciated the connotations of guns and children.
The rodeo certainly had its absurd moments, but while not all of it may have been to my taste, this city slicker knew what she was getting into! I found it to be a unique and interesting experience to observe a truly Western rodeo.
Caption: Arena at dusk
Caption: Sunset at the rodeo
Caption: Sun setting over the horse trailers
As we watched the show, we were treated to an absolutely gorgeous sunset. A few of us got up from the bleachers for a few minutes to photograph the beautiful sky painted pink by the setting sun. If your family enjoys rodeos or are just curious to have the experience, then head on down to the Cody Nite Rodeo, pardner! Any child who loves horses is going to go nuts over this.
For More Information:
CodyNightRodeo.com 307-587-5155 Tickets range in price for $8-18.