Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Rodeo Recap - Mutton Bustin' & Usher

Two months isn't too late for a recap, right?  RIGHT?!...

Maybe just don't answer that question.  Because either way, I'm about to recap my trip to the Houston Rodeo which happened back in March.  But really, compared to the rest of the recaps I need to catch up on, 2 months is nothing.  So here goes...

The Houston Rodeo is probably one of my most favorite things to do in Houston.  I've been to the rodeo every year since David and I started dating long distance, and I was sad to have to miss it for the first time while we were in Australia.  So this was my first rodeo since being back, and I was SO excited to go! 

For those of you who aren't familiar with The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, it's basically one of the most amazing and totally ridiculous things you'll ever experience.  It lasts for nearly the whole month of March in Houston, and it's a pretty darn big deal.  It includes lots of livestock/farming things I know very little about, a huge fair grounds with lots of rides and fried everything, cowboys, bull riding, and a concert each night.  I'm always impressed with the level of performers that the rodeo tends to pull- there are always pretty great shows to choose from.  I've seen everyone from John Legend to Rascal Flatts to Tim McGraw to Train.  David can get rodeo/concert tickets through work, and this year we scored tickets to Usher! 

A couple weeks before the show, my cousin Lee Anne found out that she would be in town for work, and David very readily gave up his Usher ticket so that he could avoid hearing my squeals she and I could go together.  I was so excited to finally take one of my out of town friends to the rodeo.  It is such a true Texas experience! 

We started our night off right with some yummy Texas BBQ on the fairgrounds, then we headed to our seats while I gave her a quick overview about what she was about to see.  Before the concert, you get to see all kinds of rodeo events- barrel racing, bull riding, etc.  But my two most favorite (and totally ridiculous) events are the calf scramble and mutton bustin'.  When I explained these events to her before she actually got to experience them herself, I think she didn't really believe me, because it truly just sounds absolutely absurd.  But here's a quick run down for you if you are unfamiliar.  Of course, I will follow it with some photographic evidence so you can see it with your own two eyes.

Calf Scramble.  Basically a group of about 50 FFA (or 4H, I truly don't know the difference) teenagers stand in the middle of the field? stage? (whatever you call it), and about 30-40 calves are released into the field.  The kids then scramble to chase these calves around and catch one with a rope and guide the stubborn thing back into the square painted on the ground in the middle.  If they get it to that point, they get to keep it and raise it.  Which is supposedly a pretty good prize?  It's basically chaos.  And hilarious.

And they're off!

Notice the calf on the right basically dragging the kid behind him

Mutton Bustin.'  OK, now this... THIS is probably one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen.  So essentially, they take little kids (I think 3-5 years old), put them on the back of a sheep/mutton, tell them to hold on for dear life, and then let the sheep run like a bat out of hell and see how long the kid can hang on.  Yes.  This is real life.  And despite how crazy/possibly horrible it sounds, if you see it for yourself, you will realize how seriously awesome this sporting event is.  People do all kinds of sucking up/donating for years to get the opportunity to for their small child to bust some muttons.  Seriously. 

Finally it was time for Usher to perform.  To put it simply- he was amazing!  He is the best dancer ever.  We squealed a lot.  He played an amazing set (lots of "old school Usher" from our college days like "Burn, " "OMG," and "Yeah").  And our Usher crushes were renewed with a vengeance.  See for yourself:

I LOVE this photo with the cowboy hat silhouettes

Thanks for visiting, Lee Anne!  I'll let you know when next year's rodeo line up us released :-) 

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