Thursday, September 14, 2006

This ain't no dairy farm

If you have never been to the Pendleton Round-Up, it's difficult to describe. It's not like any other rodeo in the world. At least not any one I've ever seen.

Some of the events at this rodeo are not sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Some of them are just plain wild and woolly fun.

Take the wild cow milking for example. a small herd of wild cows are let loose in the arena. Also in the arena are a bunch of cowboys on horseback and an equal number of guys on foot.

The object of this event is for the rider on horseback to rope one of these wild cows and "control" it long enough for his, or her, partner on the ground to catch up to it and hold it. Then the two men team up to figure out how best to coax the cow to put a little squirt of milk into a small Coke bottle.

The first team of two to take their bottle into the center of the arena and can pour some amount of milk out for the judges to witness wins.

It's like a cowboy rave, complete with livestock.

The photo above is of one -alf of Thursday's winning wild cow milking team of Rawley Bigsby and Jason Stewart (sorry, I didn't catch which one was on horseback and which one was working the ground).

The wild cow milking is the last event of the day on the Round-Up program. And usually by the time the wild cow milking teams make their way into the arena, most of the fans in the grandstands are making their way to the exits or to the Let 'er Buck Room. (The Let 'er Buck Room is another thing unique about the Round-Up that I may try to file a post on before the weekend is done.)

Many of the events that use to make Pendleton unique are now gone, like the stagecoach races and the wild horse race. But the wild cow milking remains. And it's one of the events that non-professional cowboys can enter. It's part of the tradition that makes Pendleton a popular event for local cowboys, as well as those contending for world titles and a trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


Rohana said...

This roper is Jason Stewart (Pendleton Round-up Wild Cow Milking).

Gary L. West said...

Thanks for the clarification Rohana.

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