Photo courtesy of rodeodesantafe.org
Went to the Santa Fe Rodeo Thursday night with my sister (visiting from out of town), and really enjoyed the experience! I know not everybody in town feels that way--there was an earnest letter to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican protesting the animal cruelty of the rodeo. Click here to read the whole letter (you'll need to scroll down a bit)--though it can be summed up in the following quote:
Get your tickets for the Rodeo de Santa Fe, the annual celebration of innocent, fun-loving sadism and brutality, cowboy style. Don’t pay any mind to those city-slicker animal-rights wackos who claim it’s cruel.
The animals seemed to be OK to me--I guess I see a big difference between cockfighting and bull-fighting (where the point of the thing is for the animal to die) and rodeo--which basically celebrates skills which have been used in the West (and other parts of the world where horses and cows are prevalent) for many generations. Click here to take a peek at the rodeo; the last scenes in this short video are devoted to "mutton busting" where children aged 4-8 ride sheep. Our letter writer says they are torturing the sheep--but if you could have seen the sheep gamboling together on the field after each one dumped its rider, you couldn't help but feel they were having a good time. ("I dumped my kid in 4 seconds--how long did it take you?")
However the point of my post (gee, sometimes it takes me a while to get there) is that I wonder if the competitors' parents knew when they were babies that they would become rodeo champions. The reason I ask is that they all have the names you would expect a rodeo guy to have. Looking at the final standings in Sunday's paper, the winners include Chad, Shain, Ty, Kory, Monty, Ricky, Josh, Taos, Jake, Jace, Casey, Jared, Wyatt, and JW. Don't you know that they're not doctors and lawyers and such?