To The 71st Annual
Welcome to the Taylor Rodeo Association's 71st Annual Rodeo! What a wonderful 71 years it has been having families, rodeo participants, and the Rodeo Association joining together to bring you a fun filled event. Although much has changed over the past 71 years, we have strived to keep many of the events the same so we can continue to bring you the rodeo atmosphere that the community has grown to know and love. There are so many shared memories from this amazing event over the years, including parades, BBQ cook-offs, live music and dances.
2020-2021 TRA Board of Directors
The Taylor Rodeo provides the opportunity to the participating cowboys and cowgirls for a chance to win prize money and points. We see some of the best competitors at the Taylor Rodeo and we wish everyone good luck as they compete to advance to the CPRA Finals Rodeo in Angleton, Texas. Adding to the fun of the rodeo is crowd participation in events, like calf scrambles, steer saddling, and mutton busting for the kids.
1953 | John Ashley
Following a riding session at the Airport arena, the camera caught this group of Taylor Rodeo Association Directors: Joe Casey, Dick Lawhon, Robert Ray Foster, Joe Zimmehanzel and John Ashley in August of 1953.
Photo courtesy of Taylor Public Library
Photo courtesy of Taylor Public Library
The Great American Cowboy built this country with strong hands and a lonely heart. He brought beef to the north and tamed the west. He spent his nights under lonely stars by a camp fire and spent his days roping, riding and fighting the elements -- and some lived to tell about it. The history of the cowboy's life is written in books and songs. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and John Wayne immortalized him in the movies.
Since 1950 Taylor Rodeo Association has proudly brought to you the Taylor Annual Rodeo in the home town of Bill Pickett. The crowds that come to this yearly event have grown because of the enthusiasm and the excitement, but most of all for the entertainment they receive.
People come out to Taylor to experience rodeo at its finest. Taylor's rodeo is different because of the tremendous amount of crowd participation. The crowd can join in such events as the Calf Scramble and Steer Saddling. This is an open and sanctioned rodeo; a place where you can watch local people rope and ride along side of professional cowboys. Some of the cowboys you get to see are the future of the sport. PRCA riders are welcome, since this is an open event, but they may not come away with a check.
Over the years the Taylor Annual Rodeo has become the big fish in a small pond. It is one of the biggest and best small-town rodeos anywhere. Crowds at the event exceed expectations every year, and every year more and more.
The East Williamson County Expo Center is home to the Taylor Annual Rodeo. This 60,000 square foot covered facility is the largest in Williamson County. The Taylor Annual Rodeo is a celebration of passion, dignity, honor and integrity surrounding the legacy of the great American cowboy.
Proceeds from the rodeo can be seen back at work in the community through donations to local school organizations such as 4H FFA Booster Clubs, scholarships, and Dell Children's Hospital and numerous other local charities.
The TRA Directors and Members are excited to announce that this year we are awarding $26,000 in academic awards to 13 students of Williamson and Milam counties.
This is an exciting time for the Taylor Rodeo Association, and we must give a huge thank you to the community, our advertisers, the Williamson County Expo Center, Taylor Chamber of Commerce, the City of Taylor, and DVS Productions for helping make the Taylor Rodeo a success.
Without this teamwork, our event would not be where it is after 71 years. The Taylor Rodeo has been a hometown tradition for generations, and we are excited to watch it continue to grow in the future.
Want to donate to our scholarship fund?
This rodeo event consists of a horse and rider who attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels with the fastest time winning. It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship of the rider to maneuver a horse safely and successfully in a pattern around three metal or plastic barrels placed in a triangle in the center of the arena. It is believed that competitive barrel racing events were first held in Texas.
This event involves a rider that tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long, braided rope and tries to stay mounted while the bull attempts to buck off the rider. The rider must stay on the bucking bull a full eight seconds holding on with one hand. The other hand must remain free for the duration of the ride to count as a qualified ride. It is a risky sport and has been called 'the most dangerous eight seconds in sports'. Many riders choose to wear a helmet with a face mask to protect their head, should it contact the bucking bull.
Saddle Bronc Riding
Originally, this event was based upon the necessary horse breaking skills of the working cowboy. The cowboy climbs on a small saddle rigging, if you can call it a saddle, and clutches a rope attached to the bridle around the horse's head. Once the gate opens, the rider attempts to stay on the horse for an eight second ride without touching the horse with their other free hand. If the free hand touches the horse, the rider is disqualified, thus ending the rider's chances of winning. A rider that manages to complete a ride is scored on a scale of 0-50, and the horse is also scored on a scale of 0-50. The scores are added together for the cowboy's final score. Scores in the 80's are very good, and scores in the 90's are considered to be exceptional.
Bareback Bronc Riding
Bareback bronc riding is a rodeo event that involves a cowboy or cowgirl riding a bucking horse that attempts to throw or buck off the rider. These horses are called Broncs or Broncos. The sport originated from the horse breaking skills of a working cowboy. The event is now a highly styliz4ed competition utilizing horses that are specially bred for strength, agility, and bucking.
Steer wrestling, also known as 'bulldogging', features a steer and two mounted cowboys. On one side of the chute is the 'hazer', whose job it is to ride parallel to the steer once it begins running to make sure it runs in a straight line. On the other side of the cute is the 'steer wrestler' or 'bulldogger', and in the chute is the steer. Once the chute opens, the suddenly freed steer takes off running, followed closely by the hazer and cowboy. The cowboy attempts to catch up to the running steer, and then leans over his horse, which is also running, and grabs the horns of the steer. The 'steer wrestler' or 'bulldogger' is then pulled from his running horse by the steer and plants his heals in the dirt, bringing them both to a stop. The cowboy attempts to turn the steer's head, causing it to become unbalanced and falls to the ground. Steer wrestling was not part of ranch life. This event originated in the 1930s and is said to have been started by Bill Pickett. His statue is at the corner of Main and Second in downtown Taylor.
This rodeo event features a steer and two mounted ropers. The first roper is referred to as the 'header', whose job it is to rope the steer's head. The second roper is referred to as the 'heeler', whose job it is, you guessed it, to rope the steer's heels or legs. After the steer is released into the arena, with a head start and running full speed, the two roper then attempt to catch up to the running steer. The header ropes the steer's head and turns the animal for the heeler to do his job roping the steer's legs. Cowboys originally developed the technique on ranches when it was necessary to capture and restrain a full-grown animal too large to handle by a single man.
Women's breakaway roping is comparable to the men's tie down roping and is a timed event. However, the only exception is the girls are not required to dismount and tie the calf. In breakaway roping, the Cowgirl has a flag tied close to the end of her rope and a nylon string tied from the rope to the saddle horn. When the rope gets tight, after the calf is roped, the string breaks away from the saddle horn and the flag goes flying. This signals the judge to stop the clock and record the time. All calves are strong and healthy, weighing anywhere from 220 to 280 pounds.
Tie Down Roping
The cowboy starts behind a barrier, which is an easily broken string fastened to the calf. When the roper calls for the calf, the chute man trips a lever opening the chute gate. Once released, the calf breaks out running and, at the end of the tether, breaks the string, releasing the barrier for the horse and cowboy. The rider then attempts to rope the calf and bring it to the ground, all while dismounting from the saddle. Once on the ground, the cowboy then tries to tie three of the calf's legs together using a rope and half hitch knot. The calf's legs must remain tied for six seconds for the cowboy to have an official score.