The Culture of Rodeo in America 美国牛仔的竞技文化

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/RodeoNatives.jpg/1024px-RodeoNatives.jpg

牛仔竞技是唯一一项源于职业活动的美国体育赛事:牧场。 “Rodeo”一词源于西班牙语,指的是“围捕”。它最初用于描述当地牧场工人偶尔聚会时的活动,当时某些牧场的牛仔进行骑马和用绳索捆小牛的对抗比赛。

到了19世纪80年代中期,这些事件在整个美国西部变得如此受欢迎,以至于它们在周日下午和假期期间定期举行,特别是在美国的独立日。这种欢庆的比赛很快就开始正式化为具有广告的活动。参赛者获奖,观众支付入场费。

虽然现代牛仔竞技表现出一些奇观,例如盛大入场和牛仔竞技表演,但主要焦点一直是竞争,牛仔们因其在各种骑行和用绳索捆小牛比赛中的表现赢得奖金。

与罗马体育馆或西班牙斗牛活动类似,参加牛仔竞技比赛并非没有相当大的风险。虽然牛仔竞技者的死亡人数很少,但是受伤却是很常见的。据估计,在过去28年里,专业牛仔竞技牛仔协会认可的事件中有近20竞技者在竞技中死亡。

根据历史记载,女性长期参加牛仔竞技表演。安妮奥克利在19世纪后期创造了女牛仔的形象,并在1908年,一个10岁的女孩在麦迪逊广场花园展示她的绳索技巧后被称为第一个女牛仔。

以下是一些可能在牛仔竞技表演中看到的典型事件:

绳索

绳索比赛的基础是工作牛仔的任务,他们经常不得不捕捉小牛和成年牛的品牌,医疗和其他目的。牛仔必须将一种带有环的绳子(称为套索)套在小牛的头部或者成年牛的后腿,然后绊倒这头牛,再把牠的脚捆扎住。

绕桶赛马

 在绕桶比赛中,马和骑手在苜蓿叶状体的桶周围驰骋,在不敲击桶的情况下进行敏捷转弯。

纵身扳倒奔跑的牛

这项运动也被称为“Bulldogging”,这是一个牛仔竞技活动,竞技者从他的马上纵身跳到一只正在奔跑的牛身上,来操舵这牛,并抓住这头牛的角,然后把牠扳倒到地面。对牛仔来说,这可能是牛仔竞技表演中最危险的一项运动,他很可能因为首先要跳过正在奔跑马头而失去对方向的控制,或者被奔跑过来的牛踩在他身上,有时甚至跳在牛角上。

野马骑

在牛仔竞技表演中有两种类型的野马骑马,无鞍野马骑行,骑手只允许骑在马背上; 和有马鞍骑马,骑手使用专门的西部马鞍,另外只有一根马缰绳。

骑牛

这是一个牛仔骑着成年公牛而不是马匹的事件。虽然需要类似于无鞍野马骑行所需的技能和装备,但由于涉及危险,该事件与骑马比赛有很大不同。由于成年公牛是不可预测的并且可能攻击堕落的骑手,所以有牛仔竞技小丑(现称“斗牛士”)在骑牛比赛期间工作以分散公牛的注意力并帮助防止公牛对竞技手造成伤害。

还有由全国高中牛仔竞技协会(NHSRA)赞助的高中牛仔竞技表演。许多大学,特别是西部的土地赠款学院都有牛仔竞技队。当代牛仔竞技是一项利润丰厚的业务。超过7,500名牛仔每年在650个牛仔竞技表演中争夺超过三千万美元。在牛仔竞技表演世界之外,人们对于牛仔竞技表演有什么不同看法。

例如,专业竞争者将牛仔竞技视为一项运动,并称自己为职业运动员,同时也使用牛仔头衔。牛仔竞技迷认为牛仔竞技是与动物的观赏性运动,与其他职业运动不同,是具有壮观和戏剧的方面的特点。而非美国西部人将这一项运动视为狂野西部的吸引力和令人兴奋的残余,而动物活动家则将牛仔竞技视为残酷的马戏团景象或者美国化的斗牛。


讨论问题:

  1. 你对这篇文章有什么感兴趣的地方?
  2. 你有没有见过真正的牛仔或者女牛仔?你的印象是什么?
  3. 你曾经骑过马吗?经历是什么样的?
  4. 您所在的国家/地区是否有类似的比赛或体育赛事?

The sport of rodeo is the only American sporting event that grew out of an occupational activity: ranching. The word "rodeo" is Spanish in origin and refers to “roundup.” It was originally used to describe the activities at the occasional gatherings of regional ranch workers when the cowboys of particular ranches were pitted against others in riding and roping contests. 

By the mid-1880s these events became so popular across the West that they were held on a regular basis on Sunday afternoons and during holidays, particularly over the Fourth of July. The celebrated contests soon began to be formalized into advertised events. Contestants won prizes, and audiences paid admission fees. 

Although modern rodeo retains some of the spectacle, such as the grand entry and rodeo clown acts, the primary focus has always been competition, in which cowboys win prize money for their performance in various riding and roping contests. 

Similar to the Roman Coliseum or the Spanish bullfighting events, competing in rodeo does not come without considerable risk. While the number of rodeo deaths is rare, injuries are common enough. It is estimated that there have been less than 20 deaths at Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned events in the last 28 years. 

Historically, women have long participated in the rodeoAnnie Oakley created the image of the cowgirl in the late 19th century, and, in 1908, a 10-year-old girl was dubbed the first cowgirl after demonstrating her roping skills at Madison Square Garden

Here are some typical events one might see at a rodeo:

Roping

Roping competitions are based on the tasks of a working cowboy, who often had to capture calves and adult cattle for branding, medical treatment and other purposes. The cowboy must throw a type of rope with a loop, known as a lasso, over the head of a calf or onto the horns and around the hind legs of adult cattle, and secure the animal.

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Barrel Racing

 In barrel racing, horse and rider gallop around a cloverleaf pattern of barrels, making agile turns without knocking the barrels over.

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Steer Wrestling

Also known as "Bulldogging," this is a rodeo event where the rider jumps off his horse onto a type of bull called a steer and 'wrestles' it to the ground by grabbing it by the horns. This is probably the single most physically dangerous event in rodeo for the cowboy, who runs a high risk of jumping off a running horse head first and missing the steer, or of having the thrown steer land on top of him, sometimes horns first.

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Bronco riding

There are two types of bronco riding in rodeo, bareback bronco riding, where the rider is only allowed to hang onto a bucking horse; and saddle bronco riding, where the rider uses a specialized western saddle and hangs onto a heavy rope, which is attached to a halter on the horse.

Bull riding 

This is an event where the cowboys ride full-grown bulls instead of horses. Although skills and equipment similar to those needed for bareback bronco riding are required, the event differs considerably from horse riding competition due to the danger involved. Because bulls are unpredictable and may attack a fallen rider, rodeo clowns, now known as "bullfighters", work during bull-riding competition to distract the bulls and help prevent injury to competitors.

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There are also high-school rodeos, sponsored by the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA). Many colleges, particularly land grant colleges in the west, have rodeo teams. Contemporary rodeo is a lucrative business. More than 7,500 cowboys compete for over thirty million dollars at 650 rodeos annually. Outside of the rodeo world itself, there is disagreement about exactly what rodeo is.

Professional competitors, for example, view rodeo as a sport and call themselves professional athletes while also using the title of cowboy. Fans view rodeo as a spectator sport with animals, having aspects of pageantry and theater unlike other professional sports. Non-westerners view the spectacle as an appealing and exciting remnant of the Wild West, while animal activists view rodeo as a cruel circus spectacle, or an Americanized bullfight.


Discussion Questions:

  1. What was interesting to you about this article?
  2. Have you seen real cowboys or cowgirls? If yes, what was your impression?
  3. Have you ever ridden on a horse before? What was the experience like?
  4. Are there similar types of competition or sport events in your country?
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