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Rodeo- Jacquelynne Steves

Rodeo in New Jersey? Really?! Yes, you may be surprised to find out that Cowtown Rodeo, just a couple miles from my house, is the oldest weekly rodeo in the United States. In fact, the rodeo is practically in our backyard, and we can hear it every Saturday night during the summer. Last weekend, we stopped by to watch some cowboys practice their bull riding before the season opens at the end of this month. It’s pretty exciting! 

Rodeo Cowboy- Jacquelynne Steves

Rodeo Bull- Jacquelynne Steves 2

Rodeo Bull- Jacquelynne Steves

This little rodeo dog is quite the working dog. After each ride, he barks and gets right at the bull’s heels, urging the bull to leave the ring. I was nervous that he was going to get trampled! But he’s a “canine professional!”

Rodeo Dog- Jacquelynne Steves

Rodeo Bull in Chute- Jacquelynne Steves

Bull riding has been called “the most dangerous 8 seconds in sports.” You can probably tell why from these photos. The cowboy has to stay on the bull at least 8 seconds for his ride to count. 8 seconds doesn’t sound like very long, but I’m sure if you are on the bull, it seems like forever.

Rodeo Bull 2- Jacquelynne Steves“Rodeo clowns” like the one shown above stay nearby to assist the rider if necessary, and to distract the bull when the ride is over so the rider has a chance to get out of the ring.

This bull could not wait to get out of the chute! He kept trying to climb out! His rider stayed on for about 1 second:

Rodeo Bull Chute- Jacquelynne Steves

Given the danger of this sport, it’s probably a really good thing that outdoor Cowboy Church services are held prior to each competition:

Rodeo Cowboy Church Sign- Jacquelynne Steves

Rodeo Cowboy Church- Jacquelynne Steves

Can you believe that this cowboy culture exists just about 30 miles from Philadelphia?

Rodeo Ticket Booth-Jacquelynne Steves

Cowtown Rodeo Sign- Jacquelynne Steves

One of the things I really like about where I live is how diverse it is. As I said, Philadelphia is just a short drive away, so on a Saturday we can easily visit Philly for the day, see a professional theater production, eat at a great restaurant, and take advantage of the great city offerings, and then that same evening go to the rodeo. How many places can you say that about? We are also just about an hour from the famous Jersey Shore.

Every place has something unique and interesting to offer- What do you really like about where you live? A special attraction, beautiful scenery, the weather?? Tell me in the comments- I’d love to know a little about your hometown!