Last updateFri, 29 Jul 2016 8am

Rodeo season has already begun, with the big ones waiting in the future, a string of injuries set to take their toll

For a while, north of the border, it’s been rodeo season.

And that means a slew of more rodeos are on their way, with a Niagara of increasingly larger, more elaborate, colorful and dangerous competitions piling up and heading for the (Wrangler) National Finals Rodeo, which is held in the first full week in December. 

Organized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), this season-long competition is seen as the “premier” championship rodeo in the United States. Specifically, this showcases the talents of the PRCA’s top 15 money winners in each of seven rodeo events, competing for the world title in each. One of the lavish runner-up competitions to that ultimate contest often occurs in Houston.  

In the 1990’s, wrestling with a bout cancer took me — and my wife — to Houston’s accumulation of medical facilities of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. And to the huge Astrodome, home of the well-known Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, one of the largest live entertainment and livestock exhibitions in the United States.

It is well known by rodeo folks. And I got to know the facility because I was a fan of the 1990 king of the roughest rodeo events, Ty Murray. As a child, Murray was taught rodeo fundamentals by his father and mother. Later his mentor would be world champion bull rider and all-around cowboy, Larry Mahan, who had won more National Finals Rodeo (NFR) first place “All Around Cowboy” championships than anyone in rodeo history.  

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