By Kristine Fredriksson
Historian Kristine Fredriksson follows the evolution of rodeo from the variety to Buffalo Bill's Wild West to the extravaganzas nowa days. How a normal, low-paying activity turned an leisure that pulls millions of spectators is a lesson in American tradition and a narrative that might entice a person who spells "western" with a capital W.
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Extra resources for American Rodeo: From Buffalo Bill to Big Business
4 This was not an organization of cowboys. Rather, it was an association of rodeo committees, designed to correct shortcomings in what had caused the contestants' complaints and unhappiness: the rodeo itself. With headquarters in Salinas, California, the RAA set out to put rodeo on a sounder footing than it had enjoyed to date. 5 At the recommendation of the vice-president of the district in which a given rodeo operated, the organization or committee in charge of that contest could apply for membership in the RAA.
The first important step taken to correct the situation was the for- Page 22 mation of the Rodeo Association of America (RAA). With a point-awards structure ready to be implemented by January, 1929, it was organized in order to insure harmony among them [the rodeos] and to perpetuate traditions connected with the livestock industry and the cowboy sports incident thereto; to standardize the same and adopt rules looking forward towards the holding of contests upon uniform basis; to minimize so far as practicable conflict in dates of contests; and to place such sports so nearly as may be possible on a par with amateur athletic events.
My beautiful and clever calico cat Maybelle has been my constant and loyal companion. Her cheerful and inquisitive presence has strengthened my admittedly curious belief that small animals have been created expressly to keep ladies company. There is an enormous sense of accomplishment and pride in having a book published, and I hope that many long-time friends will share once again in my mundus sapientiae dulcis through this book and beyond. I, for one, am decidedly proud of the end result. In doing this Page xiii work, I have tried always to live up to my own expectations and to abide by my personal motto of nearly thirty years: Memoria minuitur nisi eam exerceas.