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Saturday Night Cowboys

by Richie

In the hills of Manton, Kentucky, up a steep gravel road, is the XB Arena where Saturday night cowboys come to sharpen their bull riding skills.


While you might not think of bull riding as a family-fun event, a recent Saturday night saw a packed house. No alcohol, no smoking, no cussing.ย  And games for the kiddies. Family fun night.

The evening opened with a presentation of flags by young cowgirls on horseback, and singing the national anthem.

Bull riders were introduced one by one, with cheers raised for local favorites.

Cowboys prepped their gear in the wings.

Families settled on wooden bleachers for the main event, while the young’uns played in the aisles.

The adult bull riders came out first, trying their best to hang on to the back of a raging beast for eight seconds. This venue is the equivalent of the minor leagues – they gain experience here before going pro.

Bull riding

bull riding

Officials kept track of the standings, and prize money was on the line.

At this level of sport, the bull almost always wins.

bull riding

Games for the little kids were held between events. Piglets and chickens were let loose for the kids to catch. One young man was mighty proud of his wrangling trophy.

Another event was for young teens. Both boys and girls tried their hand at steer riding – a very gentle trot on a young, tame steer. Still, there were quite a few who took a fall and needed comfort from mom backstage.

The evening finished off with another round of adult bull riding. By then the animals, riders, and rodeo clowns were getting a bit worn out.

By 9:30pm it was time for everyone to bed down.

The Saturday night cowboys headed home, and so did we.



Lois March 14, 2022 - 10:58 am

Beautiful pictures. The opening with flags and Anthem, the kids games and prizes and the cowboys are exactly what we experienced in Yellowstone last year. It was my very first rodeo and I loved it. ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿค 

Richie March 14, 2022 - 11:12 am

I can take you there! Fun evening!

Beth Daniels March 14, 2022 - 2:16 am

Totally agree with the comments about the pictures. Some really great graphic looks. Particularly liked the one of the lone cowboy highlighted in the dark arena.

When I lived in Tucson, I loved going to the rodeo held each March…La Fiesta de los Vaquerros…though I’ve probably spelled it wrong. When I was single there, had a girl friend who was also single and we’d go to the events just to gaze at the cowboy’s leaning or leaning over the corral rails…our view of their backsides, of course. Our favorites were the long-legged ones as we were agreed that Robert Redford in cowboy duds was the ideal, though of course he was never there. Still…

Looks like a fun night was had by all.

Richie March 14, 2022 - 8:23 am

Thereโ€™s something about cowboysโ€ฆ

Selina March 13, 2022 - 7:32 pm

Awesome pictures. Great writing. Loved this piece! LY Selina

Richie March 13, 2022 - 7:37 pm

Thanks hon ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–Happy B-Day to you!

DAD March 13, 2022 - 2:18 pm

Wow! How exciting and almost in your own back yard !!!!!
LOL. Daddy

Richie March 13, 2022 - 2:59 pm

You would love it!!! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

Lida March 13, 2022 - 12:37 pm

Just great!
The photos and commentary had me totally hooked.
Thank you!

Richie March 13, 2022 - 12:50 pm

Would be a good event for the grandkids!

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