For a hundred years, traditional rodeo has put bucking horses and roping cowboys right up there with the firecrackers and parades as part of the tradition of Independence Day. The sport of Ranch Rodeo has given the everyday cowboy a good reason to go to town whether to cheer on his peers or be part of the competition.
That moment, those sounds, burn into the recesses of a cowboy’s rodeo memories, along with the smell of arena dirt, the banging of gates as livestock is moved around, trailers rattling across the parking lot and the sound of hoof beats as a horse lopes to the arena.
Fourth of July rodeoing is defined by road-weary unshaven cowboys, tired horses and pickups filled with dirty clothes, rumpled programs, empty coffee cups, dust-covered sunglasses, gas receipts and a well-worn road map.
Without the need for pulling a horse trailer, the rough stock cowboys will pile in together over the 4th of July week, crisscrossing the country, for example, from Greeley to several places in Arkansas, back to Arizona and up to Montana followed by a run in the South. Burning up the rodeo highway the old-fashioned way has not gone out of style.