The best rodeos in the world showcase the skills of cowboys and cowgirls in an action packed whirl of horses, bulls, and non stop excitement. Begun as competitions between working cowboys to show off their skills used in the real life world of cattle ranching and horse handling, rodeo has become a hugely popular spectator event. From Canada to Texas to Brazil and even France, rodeo is growing in popularity.
Rodeo tests the skill and speed of men and women as they work with cattle, horses, and other livestock. A few of the popular events at rodeos include tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and barrel racing.
Here are the 10 best rodeos in the world:
1 Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The Calgary Stampede began in 1912 and is now considered one of the largest festivals in Canada. This rodeo takes place over ten days and there are nine different events and two million dollars in prize money. The audience can watch as beginners ride bareback, younger generations ride the steer, and the best of the best ride a bull.
2 National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado
This rodeo is held on one-hundred-acres over a sixteen-day period and is considered to be the second largest rodeo in the United States. Prior to main events, people can see the cattle, horses, sheep, llamas, yaks, swine, and bison, that are all in their areas waiting to be judged in different categories. Some of the main events at this rodeo include Mexican rodeo extravaganzas, the Martin Luther King Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo, and Wild West Shows.
3 EquiBlues in Saint-Agrѐve, France
For six days every August, cowboys and cowgirls compete at the EquiBlues rodeo. The broncos and the horses are always considered the heroes of the show, but ultimately, it is the people who are riding them, tying them, roping them, and more. This is the twenty-second year for this rodeo and it continues to grow every year.
4 Ponoka Stampede in Ponoka, Alberta, Canada
People have been going to the Ponoka Stampede for more than eighty years now and this year they will watch chuckwagon racing, bareback riding, team roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, kids wild pony racing, and much more. They even have a pro rodeo event that keeps the entire audience at the edge of their seats yelling and screaming.
5 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas
Over a million people arrive at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo every year and while there weren’t that many people when the rodeo began in 1896, the numbers continue to climb each and every year. There are six different rodeos scheduled for this next year, including the Best of the West Ranch Rodeo, Best of Mexico Celebración, Cowboys of Color Rodeo, Bulls’ Night Out, Fort Worth Super Shootout, and PRCA Rodeo.
6 La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo in Tucson, Arizona
More than seven-hundred cowboys and cowgirls attend this rodeo to see if they can win, whether they are bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, or steer wrestling. During the rodeo, there is the Tucson Rodeo Parade which has western-themed floats, historic horse-drawn coaches, Mexican folk dancers, marching bands, and outfitted riders.
7 Williams Lake Stampede in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada
The Williams Lake Stampede is held every year on the Fourth of July weekend and while they have the usual bull riding, steer wrestling, and bareback riding, they also have their signature mountain race. Every year, there are five rodeo performances and the best competitors enter to see if they can win the title for the year.
8 Festa do Peão de Boiadeiro, Barretos, Brazil
Almost a million people attend this ten day celebration held every August since 1956 in Barretos, Brazil, This rodeo attracts cowboys and cowgirls from around the world to compete in bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and “mutton bustin.” It is the second largest rodeo in the world and its popularity has attracted the sponsorship of Monster energy drinks.
9 Festival Western de St-Tite in Saint-Tite, Quebec, Canada
Festival Western de St-Tite separates their rodeo events into riding events, timed events, and agility events. During the riding events, two judges evaluate the riders and the animal’s performance. A good score is considered to be 80 and anything over that is said to be exceptional. For the timed and agility events, competitors need to complete the event quickly without making mistakes that can add time penalties.
10 World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Arizona
The World’s Oldest Rodeo has been around since 1888 and has also been called Prescott Frontier Days. The rodeo competition now takes eight days, but the highlights are the Rodeo Dance and the Prescott Frontier Days Parade.
11 Australian Professional Rodeo Association Nationals Final
Cowboys and cowgirls from around Australia gather to compete in this National Finals event held over 4 days at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland. Although rodeo may be most associated with North America, the sport is popular in Australia. Not really surprising given the huge number of cattle stations Down Under.
12 Parker Ranch Fourth of July Rodeo on the Big Island, Hawaii
No one really thinks of rodeos and Hawaii going together, but there is a large working ranch near the town of Waimea on the Big Island and they celebrate Independence Day with a huge rodeo. Cowboys participate in roping events, riding events, steer wrestling, double mugging, and more.
Rodeos celebrate the cowboy life and showcase the competitors’ amazing skills in riding, roping, and more. Anyone who goes to a live rodeo cannot say that their heart doesn’t start to beat faster as soon as the first rider enters the ring.