Members of the Triangle Rodeo Club and the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA) steered a herd of bucking horses across pastures north of Greensburg and into the Kiowa County Fairgrounds on Friday morning in preparation for the weekend’s rodeo.
The exercise, which harkened back to the early days of rodeo was a fast and exhilarating experience for the more than dozen local riders who took part.
“It was quite a bit faster than I thought it was going to be,” said Triangle Rodeo Club member, KPRA Vice President and Greensburg resident Mike Greenleaf. “It didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was a lot of fun.”
The journey from their holding pen along G Street northeast of Greensburg to the fairgrounds just west of north Main Street was predicted to take just under an hour, but took less than 20 minutes.
“They got away from us a couple of times, but they never got completely away,” said Greenleaf, who was a member of the riding group along with a number of experienced horse wranglers.
“If they all went the same way every time, they wouldn’t need cowboys,” added his brother Patrick, also a KPRA officer.
Greenleaf echoed sentiment felt by a growing number of riders that rodeo traditions have been lost amongst a newer generation of contestants.
“Cowboys started the rodeo,” he said. “I think in rodeo now that can get lost. The biggest difference in rodeo now is that the contestants are so much better athletes, but we’re missing the cowboy part of it. [Driving cattle and horses into town] is how they used to do it, but that tradition’s been lost with trucks and vehicles.”
Greenleaf also boasted about the success of last weekend’s rodeo and is looking forward to the KPRA Finals, which will be held in Greensburg in late August.
“Greensburg beat out two bigger cities to host the finals, Liberal and Phillipsburg. It’s a really big deal for Greensburg,” he added.