It was time for the state competition: Arizona High School Rodeo Association. Cowboys, cowgirls, and horses all over the place!
I always enjoy the "backstage" area, and since we arrived during lunch break on Saturday we had plenty of time to walk around and soak in the scene. And of course we went back Sunday, too....
Grand Entry on Saturday afternoon was SPECTACULAR --
Color guard, state h.s. rodeo officers, candidates for next year's offices -- look at that gorgeous lineup. Ah, but you should see my video footage of everyone riding in and circling and lining up and thundering out again in a cloud of swirling dust after the national anthem and the prayer for the rodeo. That was the really fantastic sight!
Naturally, there was plenty of action. Here is just a sample.
Three images below are the boys' high school roping champions for this year in Arizona.
I took a couple breathers backstage during events -- and I do mean breathers. Walking around downwind of so many horses, I was in a heaven-sent world of scent.
But the little calves are darn cute, too, and don't seem a bit hurt by being thrown and roped. They pop right up again, ready for more.
Dogs were not rodeo participants, but they were very much part of the larger scene.
I also loved watching the younger children, some of them clearly looking forward to their own future high school rodeo futures.
I could go on and on with this, so if you want more just let me know. (I have lots more photos of high school rodeo competition.) In closing today, I'll show you my souvenir of the weekend, something that turned up in the dust right at my feet on Sunday afternoon. "Will it bring you luck?" the artist asked. "Of course!" How could it possibly fail? Really, I had my good luck on Saturday and Sunday, getting to the rodeo and being there almost all day Saturday and most of Sunday.