During the 1800s, in South West America, a new lifestyle and career were starting to emerge – the cowboy. The end of the 19th century saw a boom in the number of cowboys in Texas, lured by the exciting lifestyle. The cowboys would drive herds of wild cattle on horseback across the country to meet the demands for beef. The job of a cowboy wasn’t all glamour and adventure – it required an excellent standard of horsemanship and wasn’t the job for those who loved their home comforts.
The skills learned by these early cowboys were honed throughout the years – a mixture of the Spanish and Mexican horsemanship skills and those of the British settlers looking for a new life, as time went by cowboys became very adept at the horsemanship skills required for their job, and many also started to practice stunts and tricks – and compete with other cowboys.
These new competitions soon became an enjoyable spectator sport for locals to watch and became known as rodeos. Competitions between neighbouring ranches were a great activity, and became larger events, particularly as part of the 4th July celebrations. There were even prizes at some rodeos for the best performance.
One of the most well-known cowboys of all is Buffalo Bill. Born William Frederick Comy in 1846, he started his working life at the age of 14, riding for the Pony Express. There are many stories of his bravery and quick thinking from his stint in this role, including an epic 22-mile journey, and being chased by a group of Sioux warriors.
During the time of the Civil war in America William served as a scout, which he continued after the war was over, and it was during this time that he began hunting the buffalo as food for the teams who were building the railroad. He was very adept at this and soon became known as one of the best buffalo hunters around. He was not only a great hunter, but also very good at remembering the vast areas of land he had travelled across and storing the details of the hunting plains inside his head.
It was, however, his wild west show that gave him the legendary status and fame – not just within the United States, but also as far afield as England and Europe, where his show went on tour and was performed at the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. With his theatrical outfits and exciting story lines, Buffalo Bill became known as one of the most famous cowboys to have ever lived.
Nowadays the thrill of the rodeo, that made Buffalo Bill so popular can still be experienced with the help of rodeo bull manufacturer GSRODEOBULLS and the rodeo is still alive and well in it’s home state of Texas, so if you are near the area anytime it is well worth checking it out!