Silver Spurs Rodeo (3)
Florida Guide > Other Activities
If you are lucky enough to be in Orlando in either February (as we were) and want to try something completely different, then you may like to don your cowboy hat, pull on your cowboy boots and head off to the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee to sample a taste of the Florida/Kissimmee area from days gone by.
The Rodeo takes place at the Osceola Heritage Park which is East on US192 towards St. Cloud.
The Silver Spurs Rodeo of today takes its roots from the days when much of the Kissimmee area was farmland and cattle ranchers used to herd their stock over many miles to feeding grounds using traditional methods and skills which have since been passed from generation to generation.
The event usually takes place over a weekend, with a show Friday and Saturday evening, plus an afternoon show on the Sunday. We decided to go on Sunday afternoon, and headed off just before lunchtime. On arrival we were directed to our car parking space, and made our way to the arena, where we queued for our tickets ($15 per person), while enjoying watching the many people dressed for the occasion in their Western style clothing – cowboy hats, shirts and of course boots.
The Rodeo takes place inside in a purpose-built air conditioned arena, where we chose our seats, stocked up on hot dogs, popcorn and drinks and waited for the show to begin.
The show began with a very patriotic show of flags and cowboys and the national anthem, followed by the introduction of the various winners of the rodeo beauty pageants. After an introduction by the compere the rodeo competition then began.
First in the arena were the bareback broncos. The entrants were competing to see who could stay in the saddle the longest on the bucking horses – some were thrown off almost immediately, while the winners stayed on for a few seconds more – obviously a lot harder than it seems!
The next event was to see who could be the quickest round a course made of barrels without knocking any over. The riders were very skilful and it was great to watch the control they had over their horses.
By far the most exciting (and dangerous) event was the bull riding. The riders mounted the bulls in gated pens, then a decoy (wearing red or course! ) would attract the bulls attention, the gate was opened, and a very angry, bucking bull, complete with rider would charge into the arena – I have never seen a man run so fast as the decoy heading for his hiding place! Meanwhile the rider had to stay on as long as possible, and when they finally got thrown off skilfully avoid the irate bull.
Other events included steer wrestling, cattle lassoing and a display of rounding up cattle.
We enjoyed our visit, and it was interesting to see some of the heritage and history of the area ‘brought to life’. Details of the rodeo and the next event can be found on the Silver Spurs Rodeo website.
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Page added on: 29 March 2007
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