The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Stock Show rides into town

By Alex Muhindura/entertainment editor

The coliseum was buzzing and packed with boot-wearing spectators anxiously awaiting the entrance of the beast. As the lights dimmed and anticipation rose, a white steel gate was the only thing holding back several thousand pounds of ornery beef. As the bull barreled through the gates, two thoughts raced through my mind.

Wow, bulls are enormous in person. What sane man would willingly ride atop a bull?

From my first rodeo, I came away thoroughly entertained although some parts were mind-boggling. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo put on an outstanding performance with a fun, festive family atmosphere. It was filled with an array of events like calf roping, steer wrestling, bucking horse riding and bull riding.

It started with a dark coliseum where the announcer made a speech thanking our soldiers and asked the crowd to join in singing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” As the crowd sang away, fireworks filled the arena and scared a few people.

The festivities then commenced with bucking horse riding. Riders competed to see who could stay on the crazed bucking beasts the longest. A local rider from Weatherford impressed the crowd by hanging on the horse sideways with one arm.

“Son, we’ve got to work on your ability to get off,” said the announcer.

After that, a group of students competed in the calf scramble. They chased eight calves and had to catch and rope them. With $500 on the line, a high-stakes comedy ensued, resembling a country version of Benny Hill. 

This event was followed by steer wrestling, which can be summed up as big country boys jumping off horses onto calves. The announcer explained that the event has nothing to do with actual ranch work. About 100 years ago ranch hands had some spare time, and they have been jumping on cows ever since.

Next came the trick riding. Several women performed incredible acrobatic feats, and a man dressed as a clown had to try to match them. They spun around the horses, rode on the saddles, hung on the side upside down and did everything else that would make their mothers cringe. The clown seemed to enjoy courting injury as he jumped off and ran alongside the horse before getting back in the saddle.

This event was followed by calf roping, more bucking horses and a horse and wagon race. Then, the lights dimmed as everyone awaited the main event.

Bull riding had a different air than the other events. I’m not sure if it’s the huge bulls or the mortal threat, but it felt more serious. As the cowboys tried to hold on for eight seconds bouncing around like bobbleheads, the crowd went wild. The brutal faceoff of man and beast makes for a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Overall, my first time was an eye-opening experience. I wasn’t aware of all the different attractions at rodeos and the physical toll the cowboys take.

Almost everyone can find an event that caters to their interests. Even vegetarians can watch as bulls get their revenge on humans.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian