Rodeo is an equestrian sport that emerged from cattle grazing work practices in Spain, Mexico. But only later in Central America, South America, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. It was based on the skills required of the cowboys who worked in the charreada. Then, cowboys, in what is now the western United States, western Canada and northern Mexico. Today, it is a sporting event involving horses and other animals, designed to test the skill and speed of cowboys and cowgirls.
Depending on the sanctioning organization and region, other events may also be part of some rodeos.
American rodeo, particularly popular today in the Canadian province of Alberta and the western United States, is the official sport of the state of Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas. For this reason, the iconic image of the silhouette of a horse and rider is a federal and state trademark of the state of Wyoming. The Alberta Legislative Assembly considered making American rodeo the official sport in that province. However, the enabling legislation has not yet been passed.
Generally, American-style professional rodeos comprise the following events: calf bow, pair bow, bulldogging, horse riding, American saddle, bull riding and drum racing.
In the United States, professional rodeos are governed and sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). While other associations govern children’s, student, semi-professional and senior rodeos. There are also associations for Native Americans and other minority groups. The traditional competitive rodeo season runs from spring to autumn, while the professional rodeo circuit lasts longer and ends with the PRCA National Final (NFR) RCA in Las Vegas, Nevada, held every December.
The rodeo provoked opposition from animal rights and animal welfare advocates as they argue that various competitions constitute cruelty to animals. The American rodeo industry has made progress in improving animal welfare, with specific requirements for veterinary care and other regulations that protect animals.
However, the rodeo is contested by several animal welfare organizations in the United States and Canada. That is why some local and state governments in North America have banned or restricted rodeos, certain events or types of equipment. Internationally, rodeo is prohibited in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but other European countries restrict certain practices.
In Spanish America, rodeo was the process used by cowboys to collect cattle for various purposes, such as moving them to new pastures, separating cattle owned by different farmers or meeting in preparation for slaughter. Annual rodeos to separate livestock were supervised by the field judge, who decided on all property matters. The term was also used to refer to exposures of skills used in rodeo work. This evolved from these annual meetings, where festivities were held and riders could demonstrate their equestrian skills. So it was this latter use that was adopted in the cowboy tradition of the United States and Canada.
The biggest rodeo party in Brazil today is the Festa do Peão de Barretos, which gathers around 900 thousand people and moves millions of reais in different sectors. The first edition was held in 1956. Even with the numerous criticisms that the event receives, several artists sponsor and perform every year, not only in Barretos.
But also in the various parties that take place in other cities in the interior of Brazil, mainly in the Southeast, Midwest and South regions of the country. In the latter there are the famous Creole rodeos, which according to Law 11719/2002 is understood by “event that involves animals in the activities of riding, lasso, gymnastics, pealo, chasque, healing of calf, reins and other typical tests of the gaucho tradition in which the skills of man and the performance of the animal are evaluated “. In this category, the biggest event in Latin America is the Rodeio Crioulo Internacional de Vacaria held in even years and where more than 350 thousand people pass through each edition, held in the city of Vacaria.