It is no secret that millions of people visit Las Vegas, Nevada in order to gamble and enjoy the entertainment. What is less well known is that huge throngs of visitors also travel to the city in order to enjoy a vegas rodeo. They attend a national contest featuring the classic outdoor Western sport and held at an event center. It appeals to those who love the cowboy lifestyle, thrill seekers and Vegas visitors who want a change of pace.
A Little Rodeo Background
In the U.S. rodeos are often considered classic American competitions that originated in a time when cowboys wanted to show off their skills. In fact, the sport has long been a part of life in Mexico and Spain, where livestock herders called vaqueros showcase their abilities. Modern U.S. events are governed by the PRCA, or Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association. There is also a WPRA, which is the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
What Happens at a Rodeo?
Rodeo fans actually come to Las Vegas to see the annual National Finals Rodeo. It is organized by the PRCA and considered the “must see” championship in the U.S. Fifteen top money winners compete for a world title. The contest is held in the Thomas & Mack Center each December. During the rodeo a special dirt is added to the floor. Some of the events featured each year include:
- Steer wrestling
- Team roping
- Bareback riding
- Tie-down roping
- Saddle bronc riding
- Bull riding
- Barrel racing
What Makes the Vegas Event Special
Although rodeo fans can see the sport year round in several states, the Vegas event is different. The winner not only gets a huge cash prize, but also the title of World All-Around Rodeo Champion Cowboy. Many consider it to be the Super bowl of the sport. Events are broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Vegas sports books carry it live and entertainment is often country themed while the rodeo is in town.
Although gambling and classic entertainment is the primary draw in Las Vegas, many visit the city to attend the annual rodeo finals event. Rodeo fans can watch live, on TV and in sports books. The rodeo features an array of events designed to showcase cowboys’ skill, speed and agility.