Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Las Vegas WNFR - We have arrived!

After much planning (since last July) the time has come to head for Las Vegas, NV for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.  This is the culmination of all the rough rides the rodeo cowboys have endured over the year; only the top 15 in each PRCA event are invited to participate.  It is the ultimate of fast and furious for any rodeo followers.  They can go through the seven events in two hours without missing a beat:  bronc riding (horses), steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, and bull riding.  Not only are the cowboys the year-round best, so are the animals.

We left early Tues. Dec. 1, giving ourselves two days for the drive, with plans of enjoying some national parks along the way (another post), arriving in Las Vegas on Wed. at our destination, the Excaliber Hotel.

We just had time to change clothes for the night's performance of The Tournament of Kings, a dinner show Renaissance style.  The "tournament" is a jousting competition among 6 kings plus a dragon - we were in the dragon section.  Can't say much for the food, but the performance was a lot of fun; we had front row seats so we got to wear some of the arena dirt thrown up by the horse's hooves as they carried their respective jousters to victory.  The horses were obviously well cared for and you could witness close-up the bond between them and their riders.  It made it a joy to watch.  Later we headed to Fremont St. for a hoedown, which turned out to be not very western and we didn't stay long-or maybe we were just too tired after driving 300 miles, sitting through the show and thinking about dancing!

The next day the rodeos started:  each evening for 10 days.  We waited in line for two hours to get tickets, but were fortunate enough the get tickets for all 5 days we planned on being there.
After getting our tickets we picked up Shawntel from the airport; she had to be there for a work event and couldn't even go to any rodeos - booo!  We did get to hang out with her at the Cowboy Christmas shopping extravaganza for a short time.

Friday, we went to South Point for the cowboy X-Games, which included Cowboy Mounted Shooting competitions and bull-fighting competitions (no longer "clowns"), then rodeo time again.

You can see all the glitz in the background.  We had a great time at the rodeos and I refused to attempt pictures.  It is so fast paced, you just miss too much.

On Sat. and Sun. we went to the rough stock sales at South Point.  It's like being at a different rodeo all day long.  It's an auction where the stock contractors sell off their breeding or bucking stock to other contractors or rodeos, such as college level or high school level competitors.  These bulls and horses can sell for as high as $50,000 each.  Talk about well -cared for livestock!  The riders are cowboys attempting to get enough points to qualify for the PRCA, so they can compete in the big rodeos all across the country.  It's a whole lot of fun to watch.

I couldn't resist this picture of a few of the eight horses that make up the Priefert hitch.  They are magnificent in their size and temperament.  These guys are only 4 and 7 yrs. old; their driver actually rode them roman style as a 6-up during one of the rodeo performances.

All in all, we had a grand time, enjoyed some friends there, and ran ourselves to death as usual.

1 comment:

I had to turn verification back on. Ten "spams" an hour is making me crazy...