Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo

While Lillian was still in the hospital, we attended the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days rodeo. Under the circumstances, we wouldn't have chosen to do this, but we had already purchased the tickets since we didn't anticipate her early birth.[1] Much to our surprise, one of Lillian's nurses (in fact we had her as a nurse for most of that week) turned out to be the wife of one of the organizers of the rodeo.

Some may disagree, but I think the best part of the rodeo is the mutton busting. They had two rounds at the Fiesta Days rodeo: one before the rodeo started and one in the middle. The great thing about mutton busting is that it's just as hilarious to see a little kid fall off in the first couple seconds and take a tumble in the dirt with the lamb as it is to see a little kid hang on for dear life (and for the jostling of their life) half way across the arena.

There was a lot of "talent" [2] there (as the announcer kept calling the riders), and quite a few of them were "local talent".

Barrel racing.

Bareback bronco riding. After this the camera was running out of room, so I was a little more conservative about how many videos I took of each event.

Saddle bronco riding.

Steer wrestling.

Team Roping. Most of the teams failed to rope their steer that evening. The second video shows one of the teams that did (but even then its pretty sloppy).

Tie-down Roping. Animal rights activists might chuckle at this one since the steer manages to give the cowboy a few good knocks before he's tied down.

Bull riding. As dauntless as those rodeo clowns are about knocking the flank strap off at the end of the ride and distracting the enraged bull away from a fallen rider, I'm surprised no one has managed to resurrect the Minoan practice of taurokathapsia (grabbing a charging bull by the horns and somersaulting over it).[3]

Besides the riders, there were also a few performers. The top video shows a woman riding on four horses at once. The bottom shows a rodeo clown (both in the sense of distracting the enraged animals and in the sense of goofing off for the audience), called Punkintown.[4]

Whoa! Is that Rebecca Black?![5]


[1] To read about her premature arrival, start here.

[2] A BYU film crew once came to my laboratory and shot a commercial. While we were setting up the mise en scène, the lighting, the microphone, and the track of the camera, I heard mention that "the talent" (i.e. the actress) was en route. I found this to be a deplorable misnomer since she didn't seem to have any talent at all.

[3] Something similar is practiced in France, only they jump over cows instead of bulls, and it's more like a high jump or a leap over a hurdle—they don't grab the animal by the horns or do a flip on their way over it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurokathapsia. As far as I can tell, no one today practices taurokathapsia the way it is depicted on Minoan artifacts.

[4] You can learn more about him at his website, http://www.punkintown.com/.

[5] After you watch Rebecca Black's abysmally bad "Friday" (here), watch the infinitely superior "Primeday" (here).

Image attributions:

Videos are from my YouTube channel.

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