First time at the rodeo

Christopher Gonzales (left), along with Guadalupe Gonzales, Nevaeh Gonzales and Karliegh Gonzales all took in the sights and sounds during the Victoria Pro Rodeo event Friday.
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Steer wrestling and bull riding were new competitions to Nevaeh Gonzales, 7.

Her dad, Guadalupe Gonzales, went to a rodeo event when he was 6 but explained he didn't remember much.

Together, they went to the PRCA Pro Rodeo in Victoria on Victoria Pro Rodeo Friday evening to learn about it together.

"I hope they like it," said Guadalupe, 40. "Maybe (she) wants to come again."

To some, the rodeo is considered a tradition that dates back decades, but to others who attended Friday, it was a new concept.

In cities such as Houston, rodeo events are common. But for Victoria, Thursday and Friday was the first professional rodeo event in more than a decade.

"There was rodeo before football and baseball," said Kenneth Myers, who has been to several rodeo events and is on a rodeo committee in Goliad. "It's a traditional western thing from back in the old days."

Myers said that some people are not in to rodeo events because they are not as frequent as they are in other parts of the country. He said rodeo events bring in unique talents in that "the animals are not really trained, but the contestants are."

Bareback riding - where a person holds on to a horse without a saddle - was just one of the many events that brought the crowd up on its feet at the Victoria Community Center.

Keeping the crowd entertained was announcer Racer Botkin. Growing up in Longview, Botkin said that he spent his childhood attending rodeos. To him, it's enjoyment.

"Riders spend all week practicing," said Botkin. "Practicing being a bull rider is hard work."

Botkin said he could not compare rodeos to major sports because rodeo contestants can walk away without winning money.

Christopher Gonzales, 9, didn't complain about being at the Victoria Pro Rodeo. It was his first time seeing a rodeo live.

While watching contestants try to last on a bull, Christopher took in all the excitement with his family.

"I like watching them," said the second-grader from Bloomington Elementary. "I like watching them play in the cage."



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