What happens if the animal extremists get their way, rodeos are banned, and there is a “rolling blackout” of arena lights across the nation?
Unparalleled History & Heritage
Rodeo is truly unique, bringing together a broad spectrum of competitors with the common thread of
celebrating American heritage and animal athletes, from the steadfast youth barrel racing horse to the
powerful professional rodeo bucking bull. The cowboys and cowgirls of rodeo are equally important;
out of all professional sports, rodeo competitors are uniquely accessible to fans, from the ranch kid who
dreams of becoming a bronc rider to the urban-dwelling newcomer. For those newcomers, rodeo offers
the unparalleled opportunity to witness and experience the age-old human/animal partnership,
supreme sportsmanship, and a wholesome, family-oriented and patriotic culture.
Economies Depend on Rodeos
The importance of rodeos goes far beyond the competitors and spectators. Rodeos supplement the local
economy of hundreds of communities across our nation. For some small towns, rodeo weekend is the
only time of year when hotels are full and restaurants, shops, and local tourism spots are crowded. In
fact, many small towns depend on their rodeo as a main source of revenue for their local businesses.
Rodeo is a major economic boom for larger cities as well. The Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, WY
is one of professional rodeo’s biggest events, generating $40 million for the Cheyenne area. It is the
biggest tourist event in the entire state and the largest single money maker for the local economy.
The Reno, NV rodeo is another, bringing in approximately $42 million to area hotels, casinos, restaurants,
and retail outlets. Topping the charts is rodeo’s premiere event, the PRCA’s National Finals Rodeo,
creating a whopping $200 million in revenue for the city of Las Vegas during its ten day run in December.
Rodeo Gives Back, Creates Employment Opportunities
In addition to rodeo’s economic impact, rodeo committees at all levels give back to communities—a
perfect example is the charity rodeo in Industry, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, which raises over
$100,000 for local nonprofits, benefitting disadvantaged children. Rodeos at every level work to
support their communities in various ways, with donations and volunteer opportunities for 4-H clubs,
FFA chapters, and other youth and civic groups. Events nearly always feature sponsorships, creating
advertising and partnership opportunities for area businesses.
Earning money via rodeo is not limited those in and around the arena. There are numerous businesses
surrounding rodeo that benefit directly, from the local printers that make rodeo posters and tickets to
the vendors who set up booths at the rodeo, not to mention the feed, tack, clothing, vehicle, and
equipment companies that the rodeo industry utilizes year-round.
Of special note is the symbiotic relationship between rodeo and the animal health enterprises that
ensure the continued welfare of rodeo’s animal athletes, in fact, the importance of strong, healthy,
happy animals in rodeo has resulted in the creation of countless products that are now commonly used
throughout western horse communities.
Brainwashed Community Leaders Stand to Harm Their Constituents
Unfortunately, many community leaders, especially in larger urban areas, have no real experience with
rodeo as a sport, industry, or culture, and thus have no idea about its true value to their cities.
So, when a rodeo ban is proposed to them, their knee jerk reaction is to vote to ban rodeos in their communities.
If they would take pause and do some research, their vote might change. They are elected to do what is best for
their cities and to support the vast diversity of the citizenry and cultures in their jurisdiction. They are
not elected to be brainwashed followers of the animal extremist social agenda or to push their
personal ideology on the communities they are supposed to help.
So, what does happen when the arena lights go out? It would not simply be the end of a sport. It would
be the deliberate and sadly misguided destruction of a central piece of American heritage and tradition,
the drastic and unnecessary limitation of economic and learning opportunities, and yet another notch in
the animal extremist movement’s proverbial gun belt in their quest to eliminate all human/animal
interaction. To stop the "rolling blackout" we all need to work together and educate legislators about the benefits
of rodeo for their communities.