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Home > Blog > 10 Fun Facts About the Texas Rodeo

10 Fun Facts About the Texas Rodeo

If you’re visiting Texas, one thing you can’t miss is the rodeo. From thrilling events like saddle bronc riding and barrel racing to some of the best BBQ you’ll ever taste and lively two-steppin’ music, you can spend days soaking in the sights and sounds of a Texas rodeo.

Now we’re here to share some fun facts and little-known secrets about the rodeo that are sure to make your next trip a little more special. Here are 10 rodeo facts you might not know about:

1. There Was No First Official Rodeo

You would think that a popular event with such a deep history would have detailed records of when the first rodeo took place, but that’s not the case. According to Silver Spurs Rodeo, there is no record of the first official rodeo anywhere. However, everyone agrees that rodeo has been around for around 200 years! The first Rodeo is actually debatable. Pecos Texas, North Platte Nebraska, and Prescott Arizona have each been claiming the title of “World’s First Rodeo” for a few hundred years.

2. Bull Riding is One of The Most Dangerous Sports in The World

When you’re watching professional cowboys ride a bull that can weigh a few hundred pounds shy of a ton, there’s nothing staged. While rodeos take measures to keep riders safe, the most popular attraction at the rodeo is also the most dangerous. This is the most common assumption, But more injuries, and deaths occur from Barrel Racing and Bareback Riding Every year.

3. Rodeos Are Fun for Everyone

While the rodeo is centered around broncs, bulls, and barrel racing, there are plenty of other activities that are fun for all ages. Many rodeos have kid-friendly events, like tractor pulls, pig races, mutton bustin’ and pony rides. Then there’s the food scene and live music that can serve as great breaks between the main attractions.

4. It’s The Official Sport of Texas

Football and baseball take a back seat in the Lone Star State. Rodeo is the official state sport of Texas, so it’s no wonder that thousands of people visit just to see the Broncos and Cowboys in action.


Mesquite is the perfect place to watch an incredible Texas Rodeo unfold

5. Getting a Perfect Score is Almost Impossible

The only perfect score in bull riding was achieved by Wade Leslie in 1991! For three decades, some riders have come close to achieving a 100, but no one else has ever made it (the average score for a rider is around 80).

6. Animal Athletes Are a Thing

While riders get their fair share of fame from the rodeo, they also share the spotlight with animal athletes like Bodacious the “rankest” bull of all time. Many of these animals become known for their characteristics and can draw a crowd in their own right. They also have a higher win % than the rodeo cowboys. Meaning, they buck off Cowboys more often than cowboys ride them.

7. Horses Open The Show

The opening of the rodeo is something you shouldn’t miss. The flag ceremony and performance of the National Anthem are accompanied by a team of horse and rider combinations that put on a spectacular performance.

8. The Rodeo Has Evolved Over Time

While the rodeo has historic roots, it’s also changed along with the times. The sport is safer, has a larger following, and has evolved to include new activities for spectators to enjoy. The rodeos you see today are connected to the past but are so much better.

9. Rodeo is Offered at Colleges

Rodeo is fun for people at any age, and now it’s even offered by many colleges as an official sport. Varsity rodeo teams are yet another example of how rodeo culture is now engrained across the country and is still resonating with younger generations.

10. Rodeo Clowns Serve a Greater Purpose

Another highlight of the rodeo is the clowns (also called funnymen). Helpful Horse Hints explains that while these individuals are great entertainment for the crowd, they can often double as bullfighters and are actively working to protect the cowboys.

Ready to see a rodeo? Mesquite, TX is the Official Rodeo Capital of the State so you can’t go wrong by visiting the Mesquite Championship Rodeo this summer. VisitMesquiteTX.com has all the information you need on this event and more ideas for what to do during your visit to the city.

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