J.R. Vezain gets surprise check while continuing rehab
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Veteran bareback rider J.R. Vezain continues to progress after suffering a broken back while competing at the Pasadena (Texas) Livestock Show […]
I have been involved in rodeo for a long time. And I see a recent trend in the sport that has me concerned.
I am concerned about the way many of the current contestants conduct their business.
In recent months I have read many social media posts about contestants leaving their trash around rodeo grounds. I have witnessed it personally at the majority of the rodeos I go to as well. It is bad at many of the pro rodeos, the problem carries down to college rodeos and even carries down to high school rodeos. If you doubt it yourself, walk through a parking lot at a pro rodeo, a college rodeo or a high school rodeo.
Just recently at one of the first winter rodeos of the year, I watched many contestants throw their trash out on the parking lot when trash barrels were only feet away. Barrel racers left used syringes all over in the parking lot. Contestants broke into locked stalls. Others treated the gate, committee and sponsors poorly. A few contestants’ actions can reflect on our sport as a whole.
I have also watched as contestants call out rodeo judges on social media. I am not siding with the any call, either way, I just don’t believe that social media is your best avenue to resolve the situation.
I do find it interesting that I have never saw a post where somebody calls out a great call by a judge.
I don’t think that a social media post will benefit you in the future in any positive way. Judges are on social media, and they are talking about it. Sponsors are on social media and they are talking about it. Most importantly younger contestants see the example you are setting.
Unfortunately for them when they follow in your footsteps, their association may have rules against social media posts about rodeo officials, and they may find themselves in more trouble.
The sad part is the trend is starting from the top down. A few top contestants are setting the example and it then becomes easy for others to follow their lead. People are watching them, and doing the same things that they see their idols doing.
I am not saying that all of the top contestants are bad, in fact I will say that the majority are really good people and do a very good job of taking care of their business. The problem is the few disrespectful rodeo contestants that are giving the entire group a bad reputation. Maybe, just maybe, we can start a new trend and have the younger generation be the good example we are looking for in the future.
My hope is that as a professional rodeo athlete your performance and conduct inside the arena is just as important to you as your conduct and performance outside of the arena. It is important to realize that in your lifetime your actions outside of the arena will determine your character, and your character will be what the majority of those who know you remember you for.
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