Rodeo at THEx

THEx never fails to fascinate.In the past 4-5 years I have seen great shows at the air-conditioned Ricoh – Hollywood on Ice, the Rodeo, and a wonderful Circus. But this does not even touch the Bandshell Entertainments, The Iams SuperDogs Show or Hypnotic Wizardry. And I haven’t mentioned the Midway Rides. Maybe I am getting a hopeless case of Midway nostalgia in my senior years ? Is it the Toronto water ? Or maybe my penchant for freebies at the Ricoh Centre which on a hot August afternoon, the Ricoh is a welcome cool Oasis. This year THEx had a Rodeo back at the Ricoh on show. Not bad an idea given that the Horse Palace is adjacent to the Ricoh Center.

The countryside all around Ontario is site of the Summer Dodge Rodeo series – so there are lots of rodeo players in the vicinity.And THEx has to be careful not to step on the local fairs and competitions or the big championship rodeo events occurring at the Royal Winter Fair.Also the Rodeo only has 1 hour for each show. So the Rodeo at THEx is more of an exhibition. There is calf roping, bronco busting, barrel races and bull riding among events. And they are all compelling match ups between man and beast. But for my money, the bareback bronco busting – well it puts the most hellacious of the Midway rides to shame.

Five Seconds of Bareback Bronco Busting
And I have proof – just see the above sequence of shots.. The pictures were taken with my new Casio EX-F1 camera which has the ability to capture full-size images at up to 60 frames per second. I had the camera set at a relatively low 3-frames per second so the shots above are 1/3 of a second apart going for slightly over 5 seconds. The rider actually stayed on for nearly 9 seconds. But what amazed me was that in the last four seconds I could barely keep the rider and horse in the frame(the last frame is the last I got most of both in the picture).

Partially that is because the horse and rider are moving towards me. And partially that may be due to the fact that my teeth and back could not stand the jarring. Just kidding. But I will tell you that my chiropractor would jump at the opportunity to serve some of the rodeo riders and hands. And in general, the jars and falls of calf tieing or bull riding are equal to or greater than bronco busting.

So if you get a chance to see the Toronto Winter Fair or the Rodeos out in the countryside (or at the Calgary Stampede), stop by and be prepared for some brash and bone jarring entertainment. These riders have not just a touch of bravado in them.

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