Rodeo is the official sport of Texas, and you’ll find rodeos in just about every town and city throughout the year. Rodeos grew from informal competition among cowboys during the annual roundup and branding of cattle.

This article is dedicated to some little known rodeo facts and rodeo information.

  1. William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, created the first major U.S. rodeo and Wild West Show in 1882, in North Platte, Nebraska
  2. The word “rodeo” is loosely derived from the Spanish word for “round-up” or literally, rodear, “surround”
  3. The English word “rodeo” was first used around 1834 to refer to a cattle round-up and the first recorded rodeo was held in Arizona in 1864
  4. Women joined the rodeo circuit in the 1890s.
  5. The first National Finals Rodeo was held in Dallas at the State Fairgrounds in 1959
  6. Trevor Brazile, from the Texas Panhandle, holds the most world championships (23) and the most all-around world championships (13) in PRCA history
  7. Every October the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association crowns the WPRA world champions in tie-down roping, breakaway roping, team roping, juniors, and three lower divisions of barrel racing
  8. Winners of each event at Rodeo Houston’s Super Shootout win $50,000 and second place gets $25,000 for each event
  9. The World’s Oldest Rodeo has been held each year at the West of Pecos Rodeo since 1883
  10. The Fort Worth Stock Show will celebrate it’s 101st anniversary in February 2019
  11. 25 colleges and universities in Texas have rodeo programs that compete in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association
  12. Bull riding is the rodeo’s most popular sport and the most dangerous rodeo sport as well as one of the most dangerous professions25% of all stock contractors in professional rodeo are based in Texas
  13. Of the 15 qualifiers to the Clem McSpadden National Finals for steer Roping in November 2018, 11 came from Texas
  14. 32 Texans competed in the National Finals Rodeo and they finished among the top 15 on the money list at the conclusion of the season
  15. A bareback rider can take as many hard hits in eight seconds as a professional football payer does in an entire game
  16. Rodeo is the official sport of Texas but it’s also the official state sport of Wyoming
  17. Weighing 1,600 pounds and known to knock pro bull riders off in less than a second, Bodacious is still known in the world of rodeo as the “Rankest Bull of All Time”, and he was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1999

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast. Simon loves camping and road trips as well, whether it's cruising Highway 287, 82, 69 or 281, that's the true way to see what Texas is all about!

Join the Texas Outside newsletter