Monday, June 14, 2010

Rodeo culture a tradition in Utah

Marilyn and Matthew Wood are not your typical rodeo parents. They never did rodeo as children or as adults, nor did their parents before them. However, their children's love of horses and desire to become part of Utah's rodeo culture 30 years ago overwhelmingly took over their family, and now the Woods continue the long-standing family tradition with grandchildren piling in their trucks and trailers to head off to nearly 50 rodeos around the western U.S. every summer. "They call it the Great American Trailer Race in Utah," Marilyn Wood said laughing, a comment on all the traveling families like theirs who also spend their summers training children, riding horses and bulls, roping calves and mingling with fellow cowboys and cowgirls on the rodeo circuit. Rodeo, since its creation, has become more a lifestyle, Wood said, a culture that not only Utahns in the horse and cattle business but children growing up among the animals and with cowboy folklore have come to idolize and call their own. Rodeo culture dates back to the early 1800s, according to some historians, but could be related to a practice in New Spain as early as 1537, when Spanish authorities had ranchers brand their horses and cattle to differentiate them from wild horses, calling the practice "Rodeo del Ganado," according to author and historian Joel H. Bernstein...more

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