Horses, Steers and Bulls … Oh, My!


You can take the girl out of the rodeo, but you can’t take the rodeo out of the girl!

This month, an exciting event is coming to Genesee County that I am really looking forward to. The City of Flint has partnered with the Midwest Invitational Rodeo to bring a rodeo competition to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on June 7-8. The action-packed and thrilling weekend will feature top African American rodeo athletes, with cowboy and cowgirl competitors and award-winning, top-caliber horses, steers and bulls.

While I was growing up in Western Maryland, horses were a big part of my life. We took trail rides up in the mountains as a family, belonged to a Saddle Club and rode our horses in the Fourth of July parades. On one family vacation, we also attended a rodeo while we were staying at a dude ranch in Colorado.

My siblings and I competed in many horse shows. My sister was the daredevil of the family when it came to horseback riding. She loved riding the barrels at galloping speeds and the jousting events. I was a little more timid, choosing to compete in English Pleasure – at a slow and even trot.

There will be many thrilling events to see at the rodeo. In the steer-wrestling event, a cowboy on horseback chases a steer, then jumps onto the steer and brings it to the ground. An African American cowboy named Bill Pickett was the first to perform this dangerous feat, also called “bulldogging,” in the early 1900s.

In the women’s steer competition, cowgirls chase steers at break-neck speeds and attempt to pull a piece of tape from a steer’s back. The rodeo will also feature a cowgirls’ barrel racing competition, showcasing the athletic prowess of skilled horse-handlers zig-zagging around barrels in the ring. My sister definitely would love to watch both of these events!

There will be many thrilling events to see at the rodeo!

Bull-riding is another exciting competition, considered to be the most dangerous sport on Earth. Using only one hand, cowboys hold onto a bucking bull with the goal of riding for eight seconds without being thrown off. In the bareback bronc-riding competition, the cowboy holds onto a bucking horse with one hand and tries to stay on for eight seconds without touching the horse with his free hand. These are just a few things you can enjoy at the rodeo! The schedule also includes Old West reenactments, a food truck rally, many vendors and 4-H animal exhibitions.

According to a City of Flint press release, admission is $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the rodeo. The Genesee County Fairgrounds are located at 6130 E. Mt. Morris Rd. in Mt. Morris Township. Gates open Friday, June 7 at 5pm and Saturday, June 8 at 3pm.  Showtimes for Friday and Saturday start at 7 pm. Find more information at

So, grab your cowboy boots and get ready for a thrilling time! Yee-haw!


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