A couple of years ago, my husband and I started watching Yellowstone on the Paramount Network. Starring Kevin Costner, the show is set in Montana and follows the Dutton family, owners of the largest ranch in the United States which borders Yellowstone National Park.

Now, without going into detail about the show, I can tell you my favorite characters on the show are the cowboys. Rip Wheeler, played by Cole Hauser, is the Yellowstone ranch manager and the closest thing you'll get to being a Dutton without being born into this messed up family. I like Rip because he's tough, unwavering, and knows just how to handle rowdy barflies and motorcycle-riding vandals. Lloyd Pierce, played by Forrie J. Smith, is the longest-tenured cowhand on the ranch and the go-to guy for some fatherly wisdom or to push a chatty former employee off a cliff. And then there's the loveable criminal turned cowboy Jimmy Hurdstrom, played by Jefferson White. Jimmy has recently discovered that he has a real talent for bull riding although his medical bills and missed work might make the quick cash payout less appealing.

I'm drawn to the cowboys because I grew up in a family of cowboys. Horses, pickin' guitars, old trucks, belt buckles, and faded Levis were standard everyday life. I even had an uncle who did a stint as a rodeo clown. And I can tell you when Willie and Waylon warned mothers about the dangers of letting the babies grow up to be cowboys, they weren't kidding around. It's in their blood and becomes part of who they are as a person - no matter where they are. My dad even enshrined his love for all things "old west" into his youngest daughter's middle name. Yep. It's me and my middle name is West.

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All of these actors play their parts pretty perfectly but my go-to guy was always Lloyd. Turns out, Smith is an authentic cowboy who actually started rodeoing when he was eight. He probably started with the mutton-busting competition. Kids under ten and a certain weight limit get to ride a sheep and try to stay on for the oh-so-coveted eight seconds.

I have to tell you, as someone who grew up with horses, and mud, and a crazy family who did things like staring down 1,500-pound honked-off bovines, I know how cool it is to experience the cowboy life as a kid. I loved it so much, I started my daughter on horseback riding lessons a couple of years ago. When my mother-in-law told me about a rodeo coming to town this May, I was super excited to have the opportunity to take her to see the new generation of bull and bronc riders, barrel racers, and ropers.

2021 River City Rodeo in Evansville, IN

The River City Rodeo is rolling into town May 14th and 15th to the Vanderburgh 4-H Center.

Come see some of the best Professional Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in the country! Bring the whole family to this adrenaline-fueled action that will only be available for 2 nights in Evansville, IN. Cheer them on as they journey to make it to the National Finals Rodeo! A PRCA-sanctioned event hasn’t graced these parts in a blue moon so don’t miss out now! -rivercityrodeo.org


See all the events on either night:

  • Bareback Riding
  • Saddle Bronc Riding
  • Bull Riding
  • Tie-down Roping
  • Team Roping
  • Steer Wrestling
  • Barrel Racing
mutton bustin

You can meet some rodeo queens and try your hand at cowboyin' with a mechanical bull. They even have mutton busting for the kids! Lloyd would be proud. I hope my daughter gets the guts to try riding a sheep because I'm pretty sure she'll hang on all eight seconds and win that sweet belt buckle!

The best part is, a portion of all proceeds, including ticket sales, will go to Point Man Newburgh and Rolling Thunder; two nonprofit organizations that use donations to serve veterans in Southern Indiana.

Tickets are $8 for kids age 7-12 and $20 for adults and are on sale now. Or fill out your info below for a chance to win a pair of tickets. Winner will be notified May 10, 2021. To enter, download our app.

For More Events in Southern Indiana and the Tri-State Click Here

River City Rodeo
River City Rodeo

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