Going to the Pendleton Round-Up is an experience like NO OTHER. I do not know of another rodeo arena that is mostly grass. Usually there is an arena that is fully dirt. A whole lot of dirt. Even indoor arenas full of dirt. Dirt.
Dirty old dirt. But, dirt is good because the tractors come through and fluff up the dirt making all the contact on the ground not quite as hard. When a cowboy falls off a bronc, bull or jumps off their horse to tie down a calf there is some serious potential for injury. And we're not talking injury from an animal. There have been cowboys who have blown their knees, knocked out cold, oh, heavens... I suppose this happens on the dirt arena, too. BUT, it is fairly common on the turf.
Back to Pendleton. The arena is a football field and dirt track around. The high school plays their football games their. I wonder about the first game after the Round Up... Wouldn't want to get tackled in a pile of... Back the the story. Sorry.
Because this arena is used also for football, the rough-stock events (especially) are quite interesting.
The bucking broncs (both bare-back and saddle) have full range of the ENTIRE arena. Remember the arena is the size of a football field with a track. A normal rodeo arena is approximately 43.3 yards wide by 66.6 yards long. Compare that to a football field 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide PLUS the addition of the wide dirt track surrounding it! Let's just say it looks really big! The photographers and cowboys who are watching and not getting ready to compete in the event settle themselves on the grass and watch. Every now and then... they get on their feet in a big hurry and scramble!!
For the bull riding event, a temporary fence is installed and it keeps the bucking area down to a more manageable size. The cowboys and photographers watch from the side of the fence. Some cowboys don't feel the need to get so close to the action and recline FAR off from the rest. (They're"Tough Enough to Wear Pink" but not to be that close to the bulls, I guess!)
The announcer informs us that this is a super duper fancy titanium bull-proof fence that the set up for the event.
Interesting idea... Titanium fence. Expensive I imagine, eh? Many the people on the ground help to set it up and take it down.
The fence is held up by another post that only props up the fence parts. Hmmm... this is sounding like a problem.
Well, next round of bulls arrived after some other events, the fence went up again and they bucked and cowboys rode, were tossed and even "dismounted." If only this cowboy would have landed, and raised his hands in the sky... he would have gotten an Olympic gymnastic 10!
This guy was just happy to to get bucked off on the dirt instead of the grass!
This bull ain't buying the titanium fence, either. They propped that fence right back up in a big hurry before the bull saw the gaping hole he left with his left hip! So, the cat's out of the bag, now... that is a PVC pipe fence propped up with more PVC Pipe. Nice. It works most of the time.
Yikes... I'm running off with these cowboys just to be safe.
More pictures later... Bulls. Bulls. Bulls. And some horses and calves.