“It’s boots and chaps. It’s cowboy hats. It’s spurs and latigo. It’s the ropes and the reins and the joy and the pain …”
And they call this thing a what?
Thanks to Garth Brooks, just about everyone who ever tuned in to a country station knows the bulls-and-blood, dust-and-mud answer is “rodeo.”
The annual Benton Rodeo opens Tuesday at the rodeo grounds in the small Columbia County borough, and here’s a little quiz to get you in the mood.
Q. That rodeo song mentions “latigo.” What in tarnation is that?
A. It’s the wide leather strap on a saddle that is used to tighten the cinch around a horse.
Q. What is the most dangerous rodeo event?
A. Benton Rodeo chairman Mel Parks gives bull-riding that distinction.
Q. What is Mutton Bustin’?
A. That is probably the safest event. Designed for children, it allows a few youngsters, each of them weighing no more than 50 pounds, to get a chance to ride a sheep.
Q. How does a child get a chance to do that?
A. Contact Lynette Fisk at email@example.com to pre-register.
Q. When can you expect to see cowgirls in action?
A. The barrel race, during which they will guide their horses around barrels in an attempt to beat the clock.
Q. What is the correct way to wrestle a steer?
A. According to the rodeo website, a cowboy “slides down and off the right side of his galloping horse, hooks his right arm around the steer’s right horn, grasps the left horn with his left hand and, using strength and leverage, slows the animal and wrestles it to the ground. His work is not complete until the steer is on its side with all four feet pointing in the right direction.”
Q. What do they call the people who might have to distract a bull?
A. They are the rodeo clowns.
Q. What do judges look for in saddle bronc riding?
A. The horse’s bucking action, the cowboy’s control of the horse and the cowboy’s spurring action during an 8-second ride.
Q. For the calf-roping event, into what position must the cowboy maneuver the calf?
A. Any three of its legs should be tied together and stay that way for six seconds after the cowboy rides away.