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Wild Horse Racing

Wild horse racing is a rodeo sport that involves controlling and racing an untamed horse. Typically, there are ten teams of three participants each. Each team must first place a halter on their assigned horse before the chutes open. Once the gates are open, two of the team members attempt to hold the untamed horse in place by pulling a rope or wrestling with the horse while the third places the saddle on the horse and rides it across a finish line. The team whose horse is first to cross the finish line is the winner. Typically, the wild horses attempt to resist efforts to control and ride them - as such, this sport can be dangerous to participants.

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Rodeo sports developed from cattle ranching tasks in the western United States. These sports became professionalized in the late 1800s as several major competitions, including the Calgary Stampede, were established. Their popularity has grown recently in the GTA, with upwards of 50 rodeo events taking place over the calendar year. Wild horse racing, specifically, has existed in the United States for centuries. After being approved as a rodeo sport, it quickly spread to Alberta and then other parts of Canada as part of rodeo tours.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages may participate, although many rodeo athletes are White adults from rural areas.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Rodeo competitions occur throughout the year. The Ontario High School Rodeo Association hosts several competitions throughout the school year. The Ontario Riding Association hosts professional and amateur rodeo events on a monthly basis. Professional rodeo circuits also host events in the GTA area occasionally during the year.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

The Ontario High School Rodeo Association; Ontario Rodeo Association; Canadian Rodeo Association

Cultural Significance

While rodeo sports do not hold cultural significance with specific ethnocultural groups, these activities and their associated “cowboy culture” can be viewed as symbolically important in some rural Canadian communities.

Is there anything else we should know?

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