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Chapter 12

I know the word “rodeo” from school. I think it is when cowboys ride bulls. I also know that they catch mustangs with a lasso. (In reality, of course, they don’t catch mustangs at a rodeo). When my host family invites me to a rodeo I think it is going to be boring. I don’t want to see the same two tricks for 2 hours! But it is Sunday and I have nothing to do.

Sandra (my host mother) drives the car as usual. 20 minutes later, we come to a large arena. There are a lot of big men in cowboy hats and cowboy boots there. Wow! These men have such big muscles! There are also many men in wheelchairs. I understand that the rodeo is a very dangerous sport. Cowboys can fall down from bulls or horses. Bulls can hit them with horns. Horses can hit them with hoofs…

At the arena, there are almost no free seats. At last, the show begins. It is very interesting.

Cowboys try to sit on bulls that jump and kick like crazy. It is difficult to sit on a bull even for 8 seconds. The nicer you ride the more points you get. If the bull is not active, cowboys get few points. So everyone wantsto sit on a crazy bull! When a cowboy falls down the bull tries to attack him. But clowns run quickly to the bull. The bull looks at them and forgets about the cowboy. Then the cowboy can run away. Other people can catch the bull and take it away from the arena. Clowns’ job is so dangerous!

Other cowboys ride horses and throw lassos. They must catch steers (young bulls). The faster they catch a steer the more points they get.

Then there are horse races. Cowgirls ride their horses around big barrels (that’s why this is called “barrel racing”). The horses run so fast! Of course you must ride very well to win.

Another event is steer wrestling. A cowboy must put a young bull on the ground with his arms! First he must catch it by the horns still sitting on his horse! So he must ride a horse well. He must also have strong hands.

And this is only a part of the rodeo program!


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