Last Chance Stampede Rodeo

Helena’s Rodeo was the last weekend of July (but you already knew that because you follow this blog and get SWMT newsletters sent straight to your email). It was fantastic. There was beer, tri-tip steak sandwiches, fruit kabobs, fry bread, and these weird lemonade slushy/soft serve ice cream things. Oh, yeah, there was also a rodeo, with bronc bustin’, steer roping, and calf wrestling, and bull riding, and barrel racing. There was also a clown, a staple of the genre. One thing that you might not know about rodeos is that they are notoriously hard to take pictures of. I know, I know, iPhone cameras are supposed to be these great photo-taking machines, but there is something about rodeos that makes the pictures not great. Yep, definitely rodeos. Not the fault of the operator, not one bit.

As always, the rodeo began with the presentation of the flags. First riders with the flags of the sponsors bolt around the arena, and then a color-guard presented the national and state flags.

There was also, I kid you not, a lady in a leotard who galloped around the arena, standing on top of her horse, waving a giant American flag that was shooting sparks out of the top. My reaction time is far too slow to have gotten a picture of that.

Next, there was some actual rodeo. Quite a bit of it, and pretty good too. We got to see some of the best bull rides of the weekend. And yet, this solitary picture of some team ropers was the only even half-way decent photo I took.

And finally, there was the clown. No rodeo would be complete without one. I might even go so far as to say that no rodeo would be complete without a clown dressed in drag. It’s true. Ask anyone who has been to a proper rodeo.

This final picture needs no commentary, except to say that, yes, that is a man in a green sequined dress and an exaggerated hat jumping a horse over a Cruella DeVille car.