Never heard of it? Neither had I till the lack of any baseball between Sioux Falls and Portland caused me to look for alternative diversions. Lo and behold, Wilsall is the site of an annual rodeo, which just happened to coincide with my arrival in Livingston (gateway to Yellowstone – from the north). So of course I had to attend.
The rodeo grounds covered more area than the rest of the town, but the setting was spectacular, with the snow-covered mountains in the background and the green hills leading down to the Yellowstone River.
I arrived just a few minutes late and the place was packed. I had to park about three blocks away and from the area I covered, my vehicle was the only one from out of state. Lots of families and it seemed like everyone knew each other.
But the action is the story. The calves won the calf-roping contest, with only two out of about ten actually being lassoed. The most exciting event was the women’s barrel racing, in which the horse and rider must circle three barrels, then race to the finish line, the winner being the one with the lowest time.
I loved watching the cutting horses and their riders who coaxed the bucking broncs, the skittish calves and even the horses whose riders jumped off to rassle a calf to the ground or tie it up after lassoing it. Those horses and riders were as one, knowing just what to do and where to go.
A piece of America that we don’t see in the city.