Grand Final Rodeo
The USA has a deep affinity with horses that goes back to the time of the Pilgrims. The horse is a great symbol of the wildness of the American landscape and it goes right to the heart of the American identity. Nobody personifies this special relationship between man and horse better than the cowboy, like you see in old Western movies like Shane and A Fistful of Dollars. Today, modern day cowboys can be found in one place, the rodeo.
You can see the kind of passion the people have for their equine friends in any huge rodeo event. The biggest and most successful rodeo is the national finals in Las Vegas, Nevada, right in the middle of the desert. This is an annual event which takes place every December and is run by the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association).
There are all sorts of events at National Finals Rodeo to get the adrenaline pumping such as the bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing. The team roping event can be spectacular as two mounted riders (split into "Headers" and "Heelers") chase and lasso a steer. But the one that all the people come to see is the bull riding, which sees a cowboy get on the back of a bucking bull and hold on until he is thrown off.
Every year at the Thomas & Mack Center which is situated in the University of Nevada they hold the grand rodeo final which is the biggest event in the cowboy calendar. It has all the glitz and glamour of a huge international sporting event and has been dubbed the ‘Super Bowl of Rodeo'. The event lasts 10 days and brings together the top 15 USA talents who compete for the overall crown in each rodeo discipline.