Fort Worth helps kick off another indoor rodeo season

This is the time of the year that the top rodeo cowboys refer to as the big indoor rodeo season. Starting in Denver in January and ending in Jackson, Miss., in March, the veterans travel from west to east, attending the big ...This is the time of the year that the top rodeo cowboys refer to as the big indoor rodeo season. Starting in Denver in January and ending in Jackson, Miss., in March, the veterans travel from west to east, attending the big ...

Story originally posted by: John BrasseauxHorseCity.com Western Content Director

This is the time of the year that the top rodeo cowboys refer to as the big indoor rodeo season. Starting in Denver in January and ending in Jackson, Miss., in March, the veterans travel from west to east, attending the big rodeos that play along side huge stock shows, generally in venues west of the Mississippi.

Denver gets it going, followed by rodeos in El Paso, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston, Lafayette, La., Baton Rouge and Jackson. The shows are held in large coliseums and typically run from a dozen to as many as 30 performances. They pay big money, too, which usually means NFR-bound cowboys are the ones in the finals and winning the buckles.

In Fort Worth, which has been holding a stock show since 1897 and a rodeo starting in 1918, it was another grand affair. It’s interesting to note that in the first rodeo, the events bore little resemblance to today’s standard slate of events. Back then, there was "bronco busting," broken down into men’s, women’s and "Negro," indicating the segregated times of the early 20th century. The other two events were men’s and women’s "trick and fancy" riding and men’s steer riding. Incidentally, it was the Fort Worth rodeo, in 1928, that introduced the rodeo world to bull riding. The total payout back then was little more than a few thousand dollars. This year the total payout topped $300,000. Winning the most money, $14,187, was calf roper Brad Goodrich.

There are a few things that make the Fort Worth rodeo unique. It doesn’t have team roping, nor a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing. It does have a barrel racing event, but it’s billed as a "ranch girl’s barrel racing" and is sort of an invitational affair. Also, Fort Worth doesn’t give buckles to its champions. Instead, the event winners receive a plaque with a buckle attached.