Silver Spurs Rodeo is a family tradition in Kissimmee, and it returns for its 136th edition the weekend of February 19 through 21.
Silver Spurs Rodeo is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi, and is the work of the Silver Spurs Riding Club, an all-volunteer organization started in 1941 by Osceola County ranchers. They began the rodeo in 1944, selling war bonds as admission to raise funds for our military.
I had the pleasure of meeting several of the Rodeo Queens, as well as former rodeo participants, Scott Ramsey and Tater Porter.
Miss Silver Spurs 2015, Baily Simpson (right), says she enjoys the duties of her job as a Silver Spurs Rodeo ambassador, traveling throughout Central Florida and getting children excited about the rodeo. She is a 5th generation member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club, and when she graduates high school, hopes to continue on in agriculture, just like her dad.
Fellow Rodeo Queen Aubreyann Grissom (left) also plans to continue to work in a role that promotes her love of agriculture and the rodeo. She’s very proud of representing the Silver Spurs Rodeo across Central Florida.
We were given a tour of the Silver Spurs Arena by former bullfighter Scott Ramsey, who mentioned that the dirt floor has to be packed to a certain thickness so the animals don’t touch the concrete beneath. The dirt is also slightly damp, so it’s hard enough for the animals to get a grip, but soft enough for the cowboys to land on without getting hurt.
He mentioned the animals are very well taken care of, and often eat before the cowboy does. Bulls generally work about 16 seconds (two rounds) every six months.
Former bull-rider Tater Porter then helped Ramsey load a bull into the chute, where he demonstrated everything that went into an 8-second ride, from the rope with a weighted bell on it, to the spurs on the boots which have to be unsharpened. Everything is done to minimize the danger to the bull, and riders can even be fined for accidentally hurting an animal.
It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making the Silver Spurs Rodeo happen.
And happen it will, this weekend, February 19-21, at SIlver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. There will be shows at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday, as well as a 2pm show on Sunday.
Tickets for each show are $15 per adult, with children 10 and under free. This makes it very affordable for a family night out. Plus a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to charity.
If that isn’t enough, your Silver Spurs Rodeo ticket gets you in free to the Osceola County Fair happening right next door.
For more information, or to buy your tickets in advance, visit SilverSpursRodeo.com.
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